…”Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:30-37).
This man who had been robbed, beaten and left to die, was in the middle of experiencing God's greatest grace.
Injured, bleeding and suffering the excruciating pain of broken bones, the man opened his eyes just long enough to see the preacher cross the street to avoid him. Groaning with intense pain, he tried to drag himself up, but the pain in his head made him fall back down into a pool of his own blood. He tried to focus his eyes on the form coming toward him and through his fuzzy consciousness he heard a voice saying, "Oh, that's just the man who’s been a thorn in the flesh of this city for years. I'm not wasting my time on him." And the church worker walked away without lifting a finger to help him.
As the morning sun beat down on his aching body, fading in and out of consciousness barely peeping through blood-stained eye lids he was sure he felt his broken body being lifted up. His next awareness was the familiar smell of animal sweat and the warmth of the donkey’s body. That's the last thing he remembered until days later he woke up in a strange room with IV’s in his arms, casts on his arm and both legs. His head throbbed with every beat of his heart. Pain awakened his consciousness. With his one un-cast arm he reached to feel the bandages that covered the entire top of his head and one eye.
Coming from somewhere in the back of his mind he was reminded of a stranger attacking him. He remembered the blow to his head, then the beating. Broken and alone, he was left on the side of the road to die in his own blood.
He tries to shut the vision off, but his aching mind won't shut down. Eventually, he fades back into a coma. Days? Weeks? He wasn't sure but the next ray of consciousness was a little nurse setting beside his bed.
"Where am I?" he whispered.
“In the hospital”, she said as she rose from her chair.
"Hospital? I've got to get out of here. I can’t pay this bill”.
“Oh, sir, you don't have to worry about that. The man who brought you in here said he would pay whatever it took to make you well”.
This man who had been robbed, beaten and left to die, was in the middle of experiencing God's greatest grace. The preacher (priest) had no compassion; the Levite (the church worker) was too busy, but the Samaritan, the one church leaders thought was defiled and “not good enough” for ministry reached out in love and compassion to meet a need. His decision to make things better saved a life.
If you’ve ever been broken and alone, don’t give up hope. The one you least expect, may be the one to rescue you. Have you noticed how humanity is so set on payback, but God's not like that at all? God’s grace is given when we don't deserve a thing. You may be really messed up to the church, not worthy of attention, but Jesus sees a diamond right in the middle of your brokenness.
That’s how good God is. He is not surprised by where you are. In fact, He is right there where you are. Jesus came to open the eyes of the blind, to heal the broken hearted and to set the captive free. Like the Good Samaritan, He’s already made provision for your recovery.