There is a famous joke out there: “One friend says to another, “You know, the term “politics” is actually quite accurate…”poli” meaning “many,” and “tics” meaning “blood sucking creatures.” But imagine if you took the above blank in today’s title (where the word “Samaritan” had been), and instead wrote in “Independent,” “Liberal,” “Republican,” “Democrat,” “Conservative,” “Green Partier,” “Libertarian,” “Baby Boomer,” or even the dreaded “Millenial.” Some term that means the exact opposite of what you perceive yourself to be.
Even if you’ve never heard the story of “The Good Samaritan” before, it’s meaning and context should be pretty evident based on that exercise alone: A person who helped, who by all social constructs should not have in the eyes of the man who was suffering. What a lifesaver, right? Now imagine if someone of the opposite “political party” did you a favor and, say, recommended you for a promotion at work? It doesn’t matter where or when…we are all capable – each and every one of us – of surprising others and crossing barriers.
Isn’t such the very essence of Christ, as the manifest word, the “unexpected?” If sorrow should trickle – or flood – into our lives, Christ – someone you may not know yet – is the ultimate fulfilled concept of that Good Samaritan who unexpectedly eased the sorrows of just one man. It’s easy to care for a crowd, or a “banner/cause.” But just one man? Just one human? “Where’s the power in that?” you might ask.
I urge you to ponder “just the one God” that was around thousands of years before both paparazzi and Internet. If you’re wondering if that ministry of one-by-one is still effective and worth taking a look at, consider this: You’ve made it this far in the post. It has your attention even today, all these years later.
But for that robbed and beaten man on the side of the road, God most certainly fulfilled the Lord’s name examined by Pastor Dave this week…Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)…when the unexpected Samaritan came to his rescue. Not the Lord had provided or did provide, but the Lord will provide. Future tense. As Pastor Dave said, this allows for hope and anticipation in a time of stress, or even a time of unbelief.
Essentially, Jehovah Jireh makes room for belief in the impossible. Keep in mind, this does not mean you should try to manipulate God into granting whatever you want. That’s a pretty consistently bad idea. But, rather, it prepares your heart to be – as Pastor Dave said – “pliable” to what the Lord has in store for your journey.
So, the next time someone “out of your box” approaches to help you, don’t assume the worst. Look for Christ in the situation. He would never ask you to compromise your safety, so remember to use the common sense God gave you to listen to your gut and instincts. But maybe, just maybe, the Lord intends to use the Good Samaritan in your life – no matter what you are going through – to teach you Jehovah Jireh…that, yes, the Lord will provide.
Questions for Reflection:
1. Has there ever been a time of your life where, before it started, you wish there would’ve been a bright orange construction sign that warned, “Rough Road Ahead?” If so, and you would like to share, please do not hesitate to do so.
2. Looking back on that “rough road,” was there a “Good Samaritan” in your life who provided any comfort – no matter how small or large – along the way? If so, who?
3. Have you ever had an experience where you’ve found the Lord in an unexpected place or circumstance? If so, please share.
4. (Warning: This next discussion question takes bravery.) What is one people group you would never expect to help you, and what is one way you could think to build a bridge of peace?
5. Jesus may have fed the 5,000, but He did so with limited resources. What is one thing or belief holding you back from believing you could make a difference? Does anyone else in the group see how that stated belief is false?
House of Worship: Capital Christian Center – Lacey, WA