“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.” — Luke 10:33-34
I recently helped to officiate the funeral for Albert Fontenot Jr. For NFL fans, that name may sound familiar. Albert Fontenot III, the deceased’s son, played defensive end for 10 seasons in the NFL. I had the grace-privilege of being Albert Fontenot Jr.’s pastor.
Imagine this sight: an Asian-American pastor officiating the funeral for an 80-year-old African-American member and ministering to his African-American family. It must have been an unusual sight to onlookers, but here’s what I know: Compassion and care know no color.
In Luke 10:33-35, we find that a Samaritan helps a man who is left for dead. Samaritans and Jews were at odds and did not like one another. So imagine the shock when it was the hated Samaritan who shows compassion and becomes a neighbor. Jesus gives us this lesson: Our status or ethnicity doesn’t matter when it comes to loving our neighbor and showing compassion.
The expert in the Old Testament, who tried to paint Jesus into a corner with his initial question in Luke 10:25, couldn’t even say “the Samaritan” when Jesus asked him in Luke 10:36, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert let discrimination get in his way of acknowledging who acted as a neighbor.
Today, as you look for opportunities to be a neighbor and show compassion, remember that compassion knows no color.
— Ikki Soma, Houston Rockets chaplain
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