“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” -Luke 10:36-37 (NIV)
Compassion is the outward measure of a Christian. Of all that Jesus did and said, it was His great compassion for everyone – deserving or otherwise, friend or foe – that set Him apart from all the others, that drove the masses to His side, which intrigue and entice people even today.
Everyone seems to know of “the Good Samaritan” in so far as it means showing kindness to a stranger, but the parable goes far beyond a simple kind deed. The lesson is not in just the kindness, but in the cost. It was a financial expense and an expenditure of time to be sure, but more importantly, it bore the cost of breaking social barriers and deeply held personal beliefs and stereotypes.
Reaching out in Jesus’ name is more than a hand out; it is a commitment of both arms, fully embracing the hurting, untouchable, messy, mysterious world of people with love.