Cover to Cover
In verses 25-37 is a parable about a Good Samaritan helping a Jew who had been beaten and left for dead. Jesus taught the parable in response to an intelligent lawyer who was trying to trap Jesus in a debate. The Scriptures said to “love your neighbor,” and the question the lawyer posed was, “Who is my neighbor?” The answer at the end of the parable, in verse 37, “The one who showed pity and mercy to him.” Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”
In this parable, we can see Jesus in the Good Samaritan. He was the one, not the religious priest and Levite, who helped the broken, hurting person. So let’s ask ourselves a question: in our churches today, if someone comes in that has lived a rough life, do we treat them the same way we would treat a seemingly successful person? Do we treat a recovering drug addict with the same love as we would a wealthy CEO? Do we respect people of a minority the same as anyone else? It’s good to ask the questions to keep ourselves aware that we are to love our neighbor, heal their hurts, bind up their wounds, and help them get on their feet again.
In verses 38-42, we read about Mary and Martha. Jesus said of Martha, “You are anxious and trouble about many things.” Those “things” were the many responsibilities that occupied her thoughts and where she spent her time. It isn’t wrong to be responsible, but it is wrong to miss the more important matters, like when Jesus is in the room.
At the beginning of chapter 18 and 19, the writer makes a point to mention that there was no king in Israel. It also mentions the sin of the people, refusing the authority of God, the choice to worship the world’s alternative of deity. Today, are we choosing to the follow the world, or are we choosing to submit and pursue the Lordship of Jesus Christ?
One reason God had told Israel to kill the inhabitants of Canaan was because of their wickedness. Joshua entered into a covenant with the Gibeonites who came to him in deceit.
Later on, as described in chapter 19, it is Gibeonites who did a wicked, violent, sexual act against a Hebrew’s concubine. It was a gang rape that cause the woman to pass from her internal injuries, a violent murder. By cutting up the woman’s body into twelve pieces, one piece for each tribe, the man was seeking a judicial response from the nation on how to punish the Gibeonites for the crime and the tribe of Benjamin for allowing it.
The events of the Bible are not so far away from some of the crimes that happen today. When people are far from God, the heart is positioned outside of His heart, fallen, corrupt. Let’s remember that God sent Jesus to die for all of us, even the vilest of offenders. God only can change the heart, and with a new heart, we can serve Him