Before and After - Sheep, Goats and Samaritans

…and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, … Luke 10:33

   In the Gospel of Luke, chapter ten, verses thirty through thirty-seven, Jesus told a parable in response to the question, “Who is my neighbor?” If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, then who is qualified to be our neighbor? This parable is called, the parable of the Good Samaritan. In Jesus’ day the Samaritans were objects of much prejudice by the self-righteous Jews; yet, Jesus makes the Samaritan the hero in this story that goes like this. –

A man is robbed, wounded and left near death on the side of the road. He is completely ignored by the religious ones who go out of their way to avoid him. Yet we see that the Samaritan “had compassion” on him and inconvenienced himself to help the wounded man. He treated his wounds, took him to an inn and stayed with him until the next day. He gave money to the innkeeper before he left, and told him to spend what was necessary to meet the wounded man’s needs. He gave of his resources and his time without hesitation.

The point of the story is, our neighbor is anyone who needs our help within our capacity to help them. We are not to turn away from the needs of our fellow man, no matter who they are. We are all made in the image of our God.

We notice in this parable that there are three people types; the one who needed help, the people who didn’t help, and the one who responded to the wounded man’s needs. Let’s keep these people groups in mind as we turn the pages in our Bibles and read what happens when Jesus returns in Matthew 25:31-46.

If we look at this passage carefully, we will notice that we are seeing the outcome of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. We can see the same three people groups illustrated for us here; the Least of These, the ones needing help, the goats who didn’t help them, and the good, compassionate sheep who did. We understand now how important our Samaritan parable really is for us to comprehend at this moment before the Lord returns. The Lord tests the righteous (Psalm 11:5) and the Samaritans, the sheep, passed that test.

The ramifications of how we respond to the needs we see around us has eternal rewards. The sheep are rewarded and the goats are punished. The goats obviously lacked the one ingredient that the Samaritan sheep have in abundance because they are saved, they know their Lord and that ingredient is compassion. The scriptures show us that without love or compassion we are “nothing” (I Corinthians 13:2).

Jesus wants us to see Him as the wounded one abandoned on the side of the road who needs our help. And that help isn’t only helping to meet someone’s physical needs. When we share the Gospel, we are quenching their spiritual thirst, we are clothing their nakedness with the covering of salvation; we are feeding them eternal life, releasing them from the prison of their sins and healing their souls.

If we can apply the principles of Jesus’ simple parable of the Good Samaritan before we face His judgment seat, then we won’t have to ever worry about what will happen after.

And the King shall answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it to Me.’ - Matthew 25:40

Copyright 2019 by H. D. Shively

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