Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another."  {Romans 14:19}

This verse reminds me of the man that Jesus talks to starting in  Luke 10:25. He says, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"The young man was a lawyer and so Jesus answers him, " What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" In verse 27, the man says,"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus says, "You have answered rightly, do this and you shall live." And then this guy gets a little testy as many lawyers do, and  he wants to justify himself, so he asks Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

Now this is when the man's heart is really put to the test. Jesus shares about the "good samaritan." If you want to read it for yourself, go to Luke 19:30. Samaritans are considered outcasts by the Jews at this time. Some jewish people intermarried with a tribe that was not God's people. And so these people were not considered Jews by the pure bred,  and not considered acceptable by the other people either. For Jesus to mention a samaritan was a foreign thing to do, and then to say that this person was the only one out of a Priest and a Levite to care for this man, boy this lawyer surely must have been overwhelmed by Jesus' answer.

All of us have places in our hearts like this guy, where we don't want anyone to know our prejudices, or unrest about foreigners, and those who we don't understand. If all of the jewish leaders disowned the samaritans, who is Jesus to say we need to be like them, this lawyer might have been thinking? Jesus always wants to stir up the nasty part of our hearts. He wants to dispel the lies and fears that keep us for seeing others just as ourselves.

I wonder what this man did after Jesus finished, did he ponder it in his mind over and over again to look for a loophole? Did he look at others with a little more kindness? Did he just walk away with the thought that Jesus was just some crazy man and would never amount to anything? Oh, I wish I knew
right now what this man did with what Jesus gave him!  Jesus gave him a way out of looking at life from the earthly perspective, and He gave the man a glimpse of His heart.  I may never know what the lawyer in this story actually did, but I do intend to ask when I see Jesus. All I can say for now is what will I do with what Jesus gave?

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