I Wonder What’s Wrong with Him?
(Read Luke 10:25-37)
“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.” – Jesus
Yesterday, I took my daughter to the doctor’s office for a nagging injury. After checking in, my daughter and I sat in our little waiting room pod of chairs on our phones. I was reading a theology paper from one of my former professors, and my daughter was scrolling through photos or videos at lighting speed. To my right, there was a single man, with grey curly hair and a bright red windbreaker sitting to about 10 feet away. He was patiently waiting with bated breath, looking at the nurse’s door for his name to be called. When I looked to the left behind my daughter, I saw a very tall brown-haired woman nervously gathering her belongings after an appointment, she looked to be in a hurry. Against the wall, maybe 25 feet away was a middle-aged couple juggling medical paperwork and arguing about what goes in what boxes on the forms. We were all very different but we shared one common trait. We all had masks, and we all were looking around the room at each other.
I must confess, I looked around the room, quickly studying each person and I thought to myself. . .
“I wonder what’s wrong with him?” or “I wonder what’s wrong with her?” “Are they contagious?”
But as I was looking around, I noticed something disturbing. All of the people in the waiting room were cautiously and carefully gazing above their masks at us! They are probably looking right at me thinking, “Oh my… I wonder what’s wrong with him,” or worse yet, looking at my daughter and thinking the same. “How dare they!” I thought, she is my daughter, that is none of your business!
Behind my blue disposable mask, I smiled. We are so pathetic, aren’t we? We are quick to judge, slow to love, and living up to our nature as “lost and condemned sinners.” But as the Psalmist said, “I am a worm and not a man.” (Psalm 22:6).
Jesus was asked THE QUESTION, “What do I need to do to be saved?” Jesus then asked a question, affirmed the answer, and then told a story or four men. One man is beaten half-dead, lying helpless. Three men see him, but only one does something about it, and it’s not the guy you would expect. When Jesus said, “But a Samaritan...” the man probably gasped. In fact, he probably thought the Samaritan was going to finish the poor half-dead guy off! But we know the rest of the story.
I think we love to read this parable, and think, “Well, I am not like the other guys, I am GOOD Samaritan…” But so often I am not; you probably aren’t either. But there is someone who is, was, and will forever be good. His name is Jesus, an outcast in a world that does horrific acts in the name of being “good.” Rev. Donovan Riley writes,
"We sinners may be godlike in our ability to know right and wrong, but we lack the divine power to permanently change what’s wrong about ourselves and the world and achieve the good we desire. We lack Almighty God’s wisdom to know if we are correct in our judgment, and so we too often call good evil and evil good."
We love to look at others and point out their flaws and their mistakes. It is part of our sinful state lying in a pool of iniquities. But Jesus comes along, while we are dead in our sin, and rescues us. He binds up our wounds, pays for our sins, and continues to sanctify (make holy), and comfort us through the power of the Holy Spirit today.
This week, let us remember what Jesus did for us- how he showed us mercy and then hear his words for us…. “Go and do likewise.”
Lord Jesus, Lord of all mercy, forgive us, renew us, and sanctify us. We ask for your mercy. Help us to show mercy, even though people in our paths may be different. Help us to show mercy even if those in our paths don’t think or act as we do.
Lord of all mercy, help us to not focus on our differences and all that divides us. Instead Lord, help us to focus on what unites us while speaking your truth to those whom you love. Help us to know the you alone save. Lord, we ask for more of you today, so that we might show your mercy to the world and the peace beyond all understanding.
In the name Jesus,
See ya Sunday - I can't wait