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Jeff Long: Good Samaritan or just pretending?

I’m going to begin this article with Luke 10:30-37: “And Jesus answering said, ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain Priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. And he went to him,and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?’ And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him ‘Go and do thou likewise.’”

I’ve been reminded of this story during a recent venture of mine. A good friend called and was in turmoil, needing help. She had no place to live, no food and was alone in a strange city. Her family and loved ones should have come to her rescue but just as the Priest and Levite passed to the other side, so did they. See, the Jews, Priest and Levites were all on the same page— in other words, should have been friends. They still chose not to help.

I felt almost obligated to help and not leave this woman on the streets. I packed a bag and drove six and a half hours through hurricane-damaged roads to come to her rescue. Just like the Samaritan, I comforted her and took her to an inn. For the next six days I provided her with shelter food and all her needs. This took about every penny I had available to me at the time.

Even though I provided for her physical needs, I feel that the love shown was the most important of all. She knew that she was loved. I stayed and cared for her until I could get her to a safe place, a place where she could work on getting back on her feet and living a life that she felt was worthwhile. She wasn’t robbed or beaten as the Jew was, but she fell victim to another downfall of our society, drugs.

You see, this woman had been through jail many times when she was younger. She had also been in prison once. She got involved with drugs and needed to support her habit with crime. She had been in numerous rehabs and had relapsed almost every time. It seems as though not only her family and friends had given up on her, but society had as well. Even so-called “Christians” who were involved in her life supported her but offered very little help.

Just like the Priest and the Levite, I don’t know the reason they didn’t help. Maybe they were too busy in their own lives or maybe they were just afraid of getting involved with this unfavorable lifestyle.

Whatever the reason I believe we are all sinners as stated in Romans 3:23,” For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Just as the Samaritan helped the Jew and Jesus shed his blood for all, each of us should humble ourselves and come to the rescue of others, no matter what the situation, as long as we aren’t endangering ourselves or others.

A lot of people thought that I should not have helped her because she did not seem to be wanting to help herself. I — being a former alcoholic and addict — know much too well that when caught up in this lifestyle you feel lost with no way out. This was just as the Jew probably felt as he saw the Priest and Levite walk by.

I believe God put me in this person’s life to help and maybe even see if I am paying attention to His word. I get so tired of so-called “Christians” wanting to pick and choose which part of God’s word to follow. If you don’t believe all of it then you might as well not believe any of it at all. So the next time someone ask you for help and you don’t agree with their needs, ask yourself, am I being a good Samaritan or just pretending to be that Priest? I think the answer will amaze you.

Tell God you are a sinner and that you believe in Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, ask Him to forgive you and let the Holy Spirit guide you. Fellowship with Him through prayer and others through Bible studies. Then you too, like the Good Samaritan, can not only feel good about yourself as you show love to others, but also receive everlasting life. God bless all!

Jeff Long lives in Salisbury.

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