Sean Stillman - The Good Samaritan

Monday, 24 October, 2011

Sean Stillman, leader of Zac's Place, reflects on the story of the Good Samaritan.

Duration: 3:51   | Download Download video (flv) | Download Download video (wmv) | View on YouTube


Sean Stillman: When a religious leader challenged Jesus about his world views, Jesus didn't just take him out of the box, he completely destroyed him.

And this was the lead up to the story of the good Samaritan. And it was textured by this man's blinkered opinions, a certain amount of racism and a pious reluctance to engage with the community around him.

And despite his apparent hunger for God, his concept of love and mission was ultimately flawed. So flying in the face of hundreds of years of racial hatred, Jesus dared to tell the story of the good Samaritan.

The story presents to us an anonymous random man, beaten, robbed, possibly dead, possibly naked. Two professional religious guys come into the picture. They see the state of this guy and they choose to pass on by.

So much for their concepts of faith and love and care and compassion put into action.

Maybe they were too busy heading off to another conference, another meeting, or maybe they were just too concerned about their own reputation. And then there was this third guy. As far as the Jewish leader was concerned, this was a scumbag Samaritan. But he looked at the situation, he stopped, he did something and he loved.

He sacrifices something of himself, something of his time, his energy and his limited resources.

He was prepared to make a difference, regardless of whether he got anything back in return or not. And Jesus went on to explain that this is what love is really all about.

The call to mission is always more attractive if it's not too uncomfortable and preferably it shouldn't involve anything to do with our pocket or our emotions.

But the way of Christ was never about comfort. But it's always about love and when we think about the grand mission of the father, sending his son, giving his son, the motive behind that was of course love.

It's often messy and unpredictable and sometimes on the road we meet all kinds of interesting people, interesting experiences. Occasionally I've been on the receiving end of acts of violence. But then from the same community of people there's been wonderful acts of mercy and compassion demonstrated to me. Very bizarre, very messy, very unpredictable.

I've sat alongside folks and bathed wounds. I've cried with folks when there are no words to express how they feel. Only to have those expressions of love and care in the form of food just thrown in my face or launched down the road.

But if we're called to love, we're called to love as we love ourselves and for some of us it's at that point we may as well give up. When we see another's calloused heart and unsightly open wounds, calamitous circumstances, sometimes it makes us uncomfortable. Our call to love is inevitably challenged. but to truly love, to truly love our neighbours, inevitably means we're not to judge.

It's a call to love everyone, regardless of social standing, skin colour, body odour, sexual orientation, occupation or behaviour. These aren't just the words of some obscure policy, this is the gospel, this is how God loves us. If love is selective, then it's not love, and it's not the gospel of Jesus of Nazareth. This is a love that cross the greatest of divides, and that my friends is mission. Cheers and God bless.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
We use spam protection. View privacy policy.