John Cabello
John Cabello

Jesus used the parable of the Good Samaritan to answer a compelling question that speaks of the heart of God.

We know the story from Luke 10:25-37 and the characters well. A man is compelled, for whatever reason, to travel a dangerous road, and is wounded and left for dead. As time passes, two travelers walk around the man, avoiding him in his painful condition.

However, another traveler is compelled to rise above issues of race, gender, politics and religion. He stops to care for the wounded man, showing kindness and mercy.

This story illustrates what the church is called to do: to reach the whole world for Christ. To love our neighbors as ourselves (v. 27). We are compelled by Jesus to accept people in whatever condition they’re in, without judgement or condemnation.

Christ’s lesson about being a neighbor compels us to love people, even in the midst of their compulsions or transgressions.

As we see communities in turmoil, people hurting, many struggling to know what they can do to bring healing and reconciliation during this turbulent time, let us all remember the greatest commandments we have been given: to love the Lord our God, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Prayer + Reflection

  1. Pray and ask God, “Who is my neighbor?” Allow the Holy Spirit to process His answer through your life in your love for others.
  2. Focus on being honest and vulnerable before God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any biases or prejudices you may feel toward others.
  3. Allow His kindness to lead you to repentance, and ask for the wisdom to be a neighbor to a world that needs Jesus.
  4. As we observe Independence Day on July 4, pray for peace, mercy, kindness and justice to be abundant in our nation, and for wisdom for our leadership.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is the senior pastor of New Hope Lihue Christian Fellowship (Lihue Foursquare Church) in Lihue, Hawaii.