Have mercy. Go and do likewise.

Luke 10:37 “Jesus told him, ‘ Go and do likewise.”

A teacher of the Torah has asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus got him to say that loving God and loving one’s neighbor are the basis for life. The man then justified himself by asking who his neighbor is. Jesus then told the parable of the Good Samaritan. When he finished, Jesus asked the teacher, “Which of these three (priest, Levite, or Samarian) do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” (Luke 10:36). The teacher’s answer was the one who had shown mercy. Jesus then replied, “Go and do likewise.”

Living in the Washington, DC, metro region and working in the nation’s capital, I see many homeless people. I encounter people who have nothing but the clothes on their backs and what they carry with them. I help them as I can and as directed by God’s Spirit. Sometimes it is through money, other times food, and still other times through things like blankets, clothing or shoes.

Every time I see people who are less fortunate regardless of the reason, I begin to weep inside and desire to do something for them. One day I came toward my work and encountered an entire procession of people who were in wheelchairs, crutches or walkers, they were “marching” for some cause related to their physical state. I wanted to lay hands on them all and see the entire procession jump up and dance praising God for their healings. Could you imagine the impact that would have had on the “elite” – the politicians, businessmen, and others – to witness a power demonstration of God’s Spirit? (One day it will happen. I know it. God’s timing has to be right. NOT MINE!)

It took me a while to learn “who is my neighbor?” because I tended to be like the Jews, who avoided the Samaritans and anyone who was unclean. I used to keep to and stick with “us four and no more.” However, God began working on me and taught me that seclusion and exclusion are wrong. God is God of all. His house is to be called a house of prayer to all nations. If we are the temple of God’s Spirit and the church of God, are we not then the house of God? Should we not also be considered a “house of prayer to all nations”? Thus, if we are called to all nations, then all peoples are our neighbors. We must be willing and able to minister, or serve, anyone and everyone as God’s Spirit leads us.

Therefore, we are to adhere the command of Jesus concerning reaching out to any and all people, “Go and do likewise” and have mercy upon them by bestowing upon them tender loving care and helping them with their needs.

Father, you have broken my heart for the peoples of the world particularly those who are down-n-out, less fortunate, and unable to help themselves. In the parable of the wedding feast, you commanded your servants to go out into the highways and byways to compel people to come to your house and to help those that are unable to get there on their own. Continue to break my heart for these people. Never let me become hard hearted and unloving. Please allow me to minister to this people group especially when no one else. I love you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and my neighbor as myself. This is all for your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.