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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.”—Luke 10:32 (NIV)
Today, we’re examining the second interaction of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Yesterday, we saw what the priest did. In today’s verse, we see that a Levite also came through the road to Jericho and passed by the man. Now, Levites were basically assistants to priests. According to people who have walked it, a person traveling this road can see ahead of him a long way. The Levite, who is of a lower social class than a priest, likely saw the priest ahead of him and may have thought to himself, “If the priest passed this man, then so should I.”
Who knows what his logic was for going around him. Maybe he was in a hurry, maybe he was late or had an emergency. I’m sure he had a good reason for not helping the man. But again, we see that he clearly didn’t consider this man his neighbor.
It makes me think of someone pulled over on the side of the road because their car broke down—hazard lights on, hood open, and the owner just standing outside of the car. To be honest, I’ve seen this scenario so many times, but sadly, have only stopped once or twice. Most people never stop. I usually drive by and say, “Oh man, I wish I could stop to help them . . . but I don’t know anything about cars. I don’t have any cables or tools in my car,” or “I’m sure they already called AAA.”
But what if they just needed someone to wait with them? What if they were having a terrible day and then THIS happened? What if they left their phone at home? What if it were me? Wouldn’t I want someone to stop and at least offer to help? Of course, because loving your neighbor as yourself means treating your neighbor how you want to be treated.
In Matthew 7:12 (NIV), Jesus gave us the key to fulfilling the Law and living a godly, fulfilling life. He said: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
If we want someone to help us, we have to be willing to help others. If we want to be treated fairly, we have to treat others fairly. If we want forgiveness, we must forgive others. If we want mercy, we must be merciful. If we want respect, we must show respect. If we want to be loved, we must give love.
DIG: Have you ever made excuses for why you couldn’t help someone, even though you knew deep inside you just didn’t want to?
DISCOVER: How can you live out Matthew 7:12?
DISPLAY: The next time you see someone with a broken down car, stop. Help however you can, even if it’s just keeping them company as they wait for a tow.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.