And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to
Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment,
and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance
there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him,
he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the
place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
Read 1 John 3:9-16
The Lord Jesus answered the lawyer’s question regarding who his neighbour
was by using a parable. He spoke about a traveler who was making
his way from Jerusalem to Jericho. Perhaps he had gone to the temple to
worship the Lord. On his way home he was attacked and overpowered in a
remote area. He lay injured and helpless alongside the road.
Thankfully, two individuals passed by him. They too were engaged in the
temple service for the one was a priest and the other a Levite. They had
probably completed their work in the temple and were on their way home.
What might we expect from such individuals? God’s grace had been displayed
to them in the temple. The Levite may have sung the songs of Zion
that reveal the Lord’s care for those who are afflicted. Certainly we would
expect the hearts of such men to be full of compassion when they see the
afflicted man on the side of the road. But no, they were not moved by the
plight of this man at all. Unwilling to get involved, they consciously kept
their distance from the robbed man and passed by on the other side.
Are you familiar with this attitude? Coming back to the subject of foreigners
and those who are outside our circle of acquaintances: is it easier to see
them being deported from the country than a colleague or someone you
know well, for this would affect you personally and touch your heart. The
heart of the priest and the Levite remained closed. They did not apply the
lesson taught in the temple service. When we make a separation between
our attitudes on Sundays and the other days of the week, something is seriously
Thought: Is there a difference in your attitudes on Sundays than during the
week? If so, why? Can you justify this behavior before God?
Psalter 24:1 (based on Psalm 15)
Who, O Lord, with Thee abiding, In Thy house shall be Thy guest?
Who, his feet to Zion turning, In Thy holy hill shall rest?
He that ever walks uprightly, Does the right without a fear,
When he speaks, he speaks not lightly, But with truth and love sincere.