One of my favorite texts and stories in all of scripture is the story of the “Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37) and the reason why I love this parable is because, to me, it reveals the nature of our relationships with each other. If the first commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind (which it is) and Jesus states that the 2nd is very close to the first and is almost as important…and that it’s to love your neighbor as yourself – this text, this parable, is the embodiment of that command. But I think I have always missed something in that story. Because this is a great reminder to love and serve…but then what?
It’s that “then” that hit me. He not only served but he served and THEN…
He not only bandaged his wounds but he then poured oil and wine to help aid in the healing of the injuries. He then put him on his own donkey. He then took him to an Inn. He then sought out help to continue in the recovery of this man. He then came back the next day to pay for the services – out of his own pocket. He then checked in on the man.
I think we get so caught up in serving in this moment that we forget that it’s more than the “now” because it’s also tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that. Love and service to neighbor is more than what I can do now and must include us saying, “What do they need tomorrow?” or “What will they CONTINUE to need and how can I help?”
This parable, this story, THIS COMMAND (because it IS a command and we see that in verse 37 when Jesus says to “Go and do likewise.”) is a reminder to all of us that love and service and helping others is about the WHOLE journey with them. It’s about the now and “then” relationships.
Feed them…and then check in and see how they are doing and what else they need. Build relationships with them that go beyond you giving them food. Dig deeper.
Love and then serve. Serve and then buildup.
It’s about the whole process with people. Don’t skimp, don’t do just enough…do what you would want done when you were in need…and then do more.
Just my 2 cents