These seem like benign words. Jesus uses this phrase to end the parable of the good Samaritan. But they are only slightly less difficult than when Jesus said … “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect! (Matthew 5:28)” But Jesus says clearly, as instruction to followers and those who believe they perfectly understand God’s laws … “Go and do likewise! (Luke 10:37)” What could He possibly mean?
When I was a layperson in the church we attended in Ooltewah, Tennessee, I was using Warren Wiersbe’s “BE” series commentaries. They were wonderful little thoughts about the Gospels and gave a clear and active perspective of how to take God’s Word and apply it. So, I am going to channel pastor Wiersbe for a bit and give you a few “BE” ideas about the parable of the Good Samaritan.
1. Be observant – Every day I find myself in a very bad place of focusing on my stuff and ignoring the needs of others. The Good Samaritan saw. He saw a person … not a hated Samaritan. He saw a need … not something that ruined his plans for the day. He saw hurt … not a violation of the law. Be observant!
2. Be compassionate – It is hard, in this busy world, to be compassionate. We are tempted to rationalize that the needy person is needy because of their flawed lifestyle. We are tempted to see the ethnicity of the person and walk on the other side of the road. We might even be looked down by others because we have helped another person that didn’t meet our community standards. Still, there is that command … “Go thou and do likewise!” Be compassionate.
3. Be helpful - The movement from compassionate to helpful is the move from passive to active. It is moving from our ability to see and transcend ourselves to our ability to act on that transcendence and do some good for another person. Be helpful.
4. Be invested – Helping is sometimes costly. It takes time, effort, money and a little bite out of our life. That is annoying unless you realize where that “life” came from. Your life is, if you are called Christian, given to another. It is the person who said … “Go thou and do likewise.” Be invested.
5. Be complete - I have a tendency to only help people a little … only as much as it makes me feel good or justified. Remember that the person asking Jesus the question here (the expert in the law) asked the question to justify himself. The Good Samaritan went the full mile in helping the man attacked by robbers. He picked him up, nursed his wounds, gave him what he needed to heal, put him up in a hotel, paid for his room and board, and made sure that the help carried on till it was complete. This man was NOT a quitter. He was truly the GOOD Samaritan. Be complete!
Be observant, be compassionate, be helpful, be invested and be complete. Then you can say “I did it!” to Jesus who said, “Go thou and do likewise!” Randy