Jesus took up the question and said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down that road. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. (Luke 10:30-32)
Pastor John’s Notes:
Priests and Levites were religious leaders who were well-respected among the Jewish nation. The tribe of Levi was set apart from the other eleven tribes of Israel to perform the functions necessary for the worship of God in the Temple. The priests were Levites who were selected to offer sacrifices and lead the nation in its ceremonial worship. In the story, these men were on their way up to Jerusalem undoubtedly to fulfill their duties in the Temple. It was on this journey that they encountered the wounded man.
The story of the Good Samaritan illustrates the failure of religious people to understand what truly matters to God. The idea of stepping over a man who was perhaps mortally wounded in order to perform a ceremonial act of worship is an absurdity from heaven’s perspective. Above all, God wants us to care for one another.
Forgive me, Lord, for the times that I have failed to pay attention to the needs of others. Give me a sensitive heart to love those in need with meaningful action.