Choose Mercy

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 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. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’” Luke 10:30-35

Jesus often taught using parables and the story of the Good Samaritan serves to teach us about the responsibilities of Christ followers. Most look at this story as a demonstrated act of charity and compassion but it is more than that. Although more seemingly religious people passed by this injured man, neither their position, authority, or leadership led them to offer clearly needed assistance. Both the priest (an ordained minister) and the Levite (a member of the tribe of Levi who provided assistance to the priests) these high-ranking officials did nothing. They may have been experts of the law but they failed when it came to sacrifice, selflessness, and mercy.

This story isn’t just about a Good Samaritan but about a person of mixed heritage (not of full Jewish lineage), someone who was not looked upon favorably. He didn’t see ethnicity or otherwise. What he saw was human suffering.

We can choose to ignore the pain of others or we can feel their pain and it is in feeling their pain that we offer what we have as an act of love, sacrifice, and mercy. It is what we should do!