“The Wednesday Word” Podcast & Devotional
We thought it would be a great idea to have a mid-week recap & refresh of Pastor David’s Sunday sermon. Let’s make sure that we are learning all we can from them!
Pastor David’s Wednesday devotional will be related to the Sunday sermon in some way. It could be an expansion on a theme, a different twist, or some kind of content related to Sunday’s sermon. Various staff members and parishioners will gather to discuss the devotional and how it relates to our lives and maybe give some practical application of the word.
You can listen to the audio version in your car, while doing housework, during your workout, or whenever is most convenient for you. We want you to be able to access it at any time that is the right time for you to have a few minutes to read and reflect on it.
Pastor David’s devotional for September 28, 2022
30 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. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 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. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] 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.’36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of Jesus most known parables. The moral of the story seems simple but making the parable our story is pretty difficult. The story has 4 characters. The first, an unknown person with no identification lies beaten and nearly dead along the road. Who is the person? Is there any way to determine who the person was?
You can’t tell who the person was, or the kind of person he was just by looking. And that is an important lesson! It is also important to the story. We don’t know if the person is a Jew or a Gentile, a Rabbi or a sinner, a person who has make good decisions in life or a person who has made bad decisions. All we know is the person was in need. The second character in the story is a Priest, and we know the priest—he was a man of God, someone committed to the law of Moses. The third person was a Levite, and we know the Levite—he was a church leader who assisted with important aspects of church life. The fourth person was a Samaritan, and that is about all we know—except he was not liked or appreciated by Jews, and he was in Jewish territory.
We know the story. A man had been beaten, stripped, and left along the road half dead. While we may never come upon such a scene, we certainly see human need around us. As you think about your life, where are you seeing human need along your journey? What kinds of needs do you see?
A priest came upon the unknown person in need and didn’t stop. Instead, he just passed by, leaving the man in need of help. Why might the priest have chosen to pass by the man in need? Today, why do people pass by people in need?
The Levite also came upon the man and passed on by. Finally, a Samaritan came upon the man, and seeing him he had compassion and stopped and helped.
In the story, the kind of help the man needed was obvious. However, often it is not as easy to discern the kind of actions that would be helpful. We see human need all around us. Buy no one can help everyone in need, and no one can do everything. How do you determine who you can help and who you need to pass on by? When you try to help someone in need, how do you know what is most needed? How do you determine what you can and cannot do to help the person?
The story began with a question asked by a rich young man: “Who is my neighbor?” By the end of the story, Jesus told the man that he was asking the wrong question. Instead of asking “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus instructed the man to ask himself “How can I be a neighbor with the people I encounter along my journey?” For you, what does being a good neighbor look like? What is one thing you can do to be a better neighbor?
Back to the story! There is another angle to consider in the story. The man in need was unknown. The people Jesus was talking to were Jews. The priest and the Levite were not portrayed positively. The Samaritan was—but he was a Samaritan! So, who might the listener be inclined to identify with in the story? Not the Priest or Levite—who would want to identify with people who came off so uncaring? Would a Jew identify with a Samaritan? Would a Jew want to be like a Samaritan? Not likely. So, the only person left to identify with is the person half dead along the road. What if it were you? And what if help came to you from someone you don’t trust? If you had a choice in the matter, would you accept the help? Remembering the context for the story, and how not long after, Jesus was crucified, who would accept help that comes in such an unexpected way, from an outcast who was arrested, convicted, and put to death? What are your thoughts about this angle on the story?
How do you do with accepting help from others? Are you quick to accept? Or are you more apt to want to solve your problem on your own? What if God’s help comes to you in an unexpected way, through an unexpected person? What would you do? Think about it.
God bless you!