Sun, Oct 28, 2018
by Linda Evans
Used week three message from Linda Evans on October 28, 2018 at Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, Indiana. Few people really understand United States Internal Revenue Service income tax regulations and for good reason. According to Forbes magazine, in 2013 the tax code had 73,954 pages of rules and regulations. That is over 4 million words! The tax codes have become so complex that even the experts have a hard time understanding everything. The leaders in ancient Israel did the same thing to their religious system. They made excessive laws to govern their relationship with God. These laws had increased to the point where even religious experts struggled to understand everything. There was often bickering back and forth among the experts about which laws were more important and which were less important. When one such legal expert asked Jesus what mattered most? Luke 10:25-28 Jesus broke it down into the simplest and easiest to understand terms. Love God. Love Others. Of all the stories that Jesus told, the parable of the Good Samaritan might be the best known. I’ve heard this story many times over the years and I love it when I hear something familiar but hear it in a whole new way. That is exactly what I hope to do with you this morning… help you hear this story in a brand new way… Luke 10:29-37 Those robbers had a “What’s yours is mine!” mentality. Next the priest and the Levite came upon the half dead man They had a “What’s mine is mine!” mentality. Next came the Samaritan… The Samaritan’s philosophy was, “What’s mine is Yours.” Compassion allows for interruptions. Compassion rearranges our priorities! Matthew 14:14 Matthew 15:32 Mark 6:34 Mark 1:40-42 Luke 7:11-15 The Message (MSG) 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Compassion is Jesus’ response over and over again. If the Devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy. Today an innkeeper might have earned a degree in hotel management and hospitality or perhaps has had experience as a small business owner. He started with a dream and a business plan and had help from his Edward Jones representative to manage his money and eventually started living his dream of owning and operating a lovely inn that would get the highest reviews on Trip Advisor. I don’t know if the innkeeper in this story had a degree in business or marketing, or if he had a degree in culinary arts to make a fancy breakfast each morning or if he has a financial advisor. What he probably did NOT have was medical degree or a nursing license. I’m not sure if he had a card in his wallet stating that he had passed the American Red Cross’s course on first aid or if he was certified in CPR. Yet, he was being asked to care for a man who had been beaten and was half dead. It doesn’t sound like this was going to be a quick recovery. The innkeeper was being asked to take on a huge responsibility. Caring for this stranger was no small job on top of running the inn and seeing to all the other guests. Compassion comes with a cost… It can take a toll on your emotions. It can drain your energy. It might cost time. It might cost money. It might take you much longer to get from point A to point B. You may never even reach point B. The parable of the Good Samaritan shows us three philosophies of life. (1) "Beat him up"; (2) "Pass him up"; (3) "Pick him up." The Bible says love can be seen and touched-it's tangible. Love is a verb. Real love takes action. The challenge to be compassionate is for each of us! How do we begin? We pray for eyes that see others as God sees them. What breaks your heart? There is your answer. That’s your place to start. While you are traveling from A to B, look for those divine interruptions in your life and step up and be the hands and feet and arms and voice of Jesus. Ooze compassion. Someone somewhere needs you.