"A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side."
"You will never lock eyes with someone that Jesus didn't die for." "Love your neighbor as yourself" was part of the Old Testament Law. The lawyer "testing" Jesus knew this intellectually, but definitely not spiritually. He also knew that God didn't limit his "neighbors" to those who lived on the same street. Aware of this, Jesus launched into a convicting story that surely hit home for the lawyer – and it should resonate in our lives as well. In today's verse, we see two men refuse to help another man as he lay in the road, half dead. Sadly, these weren't ordinary men; they were scholars of the Law and supposedly men of God. The first, a Priest, saw the man and did nothing. The second was a Levite, a servant of the Jerusalem Temple. He, too, did nothing. What do they represent? The Law, which is merely a barometer for our brokenness. Just like the Priest and the Levite, it cannot save us; only the Savior can! For those of us who personally know Christ, it is our duty to lead by example and step in and help when our neighbors are in need. Yet, how often do we pass by "half dead" people – people who are alive on the outside, but dying on the inside – and say or do nothing? Before receiving God's mercy and grace, we were that half dead man. Our lives were once broken as we lay dying in sin. But Jesus did the work to save us! And now, we have a responsibility to go to those who are hurting and introduce them to the Savior who specializes in taking people from half dead to fully alive. Or, maybe you are that injured and dying man. If so, then know this: Jesus wants to meet you right where you are. No matter how messy your life is, where you've been, or what you've done, God is madly in love with you. And right now, the Savior is extending His hand to you and offering a fresh start, a new life full of amazing love and unending joy!
Who is it that you've been "passing by" instead of reaching out to? Earnestly and wholeheartedly, pray for God to orchestrate the perfect moment to share your story with them. You will be amazed by what God will do!
Heavenly Father, thank You for calling me to You, reaching out Your hand, and never letting me go. I seek to be more like Your Son, Jesus, every day. Therefore, speak into my heart and challenge me to be a good neighbor when opportunities arise for me to share my story with others. In Jesus' name, Amen.