“In reply Jesus said: ‘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.'” — Luke 10:30-32
There was a man who was beat up by robbers and left for dead. A pastor walked by, saw the bloodied man, avoided him and didn’t do anything to help the man. A little while later, an assistant pastor did the exact same. Both the pastor and assistant pastor probably knew and could quote Leviticus 19:18: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” They had probably even given sermons on the passage, but when it came time to obey Leviticus 19:18, they walked away.
Seeing the man left for dead, perhaps they thought he was already dead and conveniently remembered Numbers 19:11: “Whoever touches a human corpse will be unclean for seven days.” Perhaps that’s why they even walked to the other side of the road to avoid the man. But here’s the problem: They didn’t even check to see if the man was alive or dead. They were too religious to care.
Instead of asking, “If I were beat up and left for dead, what would I want someone to do for me?” they asked, “What Bible verse exempts me from caring for this ailing man?” Our knowledge of God’s Word should move us to love our neighbor more consistently. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Your knowledge of God’s Word should motivate you to care more, not less. Use that knowledge to bless others and go out of your way to serve them.
— Ikki Soma, Houston Rockets chaplain
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