Reading all the commands God gives us in the Bible can seem overwhelming and confusing at times. Jesus knew that we would need help, which is one of the reasons He gave us parables. They are great illustrations that help us understand and remember what He calls us to do. Each one had deep meaning to His disciples during His earthly ministry and still do for His followers today.
If I had to choose one that I thought was most important in the world we currently live in, it would be The Good Samaritan. When asked who we are to consider our neighbors in Luke 10, Jesus told a great story to help us comprehend. In the story, we see a man get robbed, beaten, and left in the road. Two “godly” men passed him by, yet a Samaritan – a person the Jewish people would have looked down on – took compassion on him. The Samaritan went out of his way to care for the beaten man, even spending his own money to get him a place to rest. Jesus told us to be like this Samaritan.
Sadly, I think a lot of Christians are like the two “godly” men in the story, myself included. We know that the Word of God tells us to love others, but our judgment of them gets in the way. We make our own determination of whether a person “deserves” our compassion, forgiveness, or charity. We pass by the homeless person on the street because of the decisions we think they made to get there. We look down on the girl that got an abortion. We use derogatory names towards those who believe differently than us. We look at the speck in our brother’s eye without noticing the plank in our own (Matthew 7:3).
God doesn’t call us to judge other people, in fact He explicitly tells us not to in Matthew 7:1. God, instead, calls us to love others. He doesn’t say to love those who believe the same or love those who are living a godly life. He specifically tells us in John 15:12 to, “Love each other as I have loved you”. We sin daily, yet God gives us amazing, unending, underserved grace. This is the grace He calls us to show others. Caring for someone’s physical needs is important because the love and compassion we show can change their lives eternally. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:16 that our good deeds glorify our Father in Heaven. In the broken world that we live in, wouldn’t it be great to see our Father glorified in every action a Christian did? Just imagine the impact it would have and the lives that would be changed. Other than sharing God’s love so that others can come to know the Good News of Jesus Christ, there is really nothing else that matters.