One thing has become very clear to me. We are in need of saving. We need saving from our selfishness, apathy, extreme individualism and our narrow understanding of faith and the Gospel. We can download the latest podcast from our favorite preacher or teacher. We can buy a book that will reveal deeper insight into life and faith. But too often we might over look another teacher because we don’t think they have anything they can teach us. Jesus reveals to us where we need to look.
It all started with a simple question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus replied to the Pharisee, “What is written in the Law?”
The Pharisee answered, “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 Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus affirmed his answer, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”
But this wasn’t enough for the Pharisee. He wanted to “justify” himself so he asked, ”Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then proceeds to tell the story of what is known as the Good Samaritan. Luke 10:25-37
The Pharisees and the Jews hated the Samaritans. The Samaritans were considered the dirty outcasts of the days. They were viewed as the worst of the human race and the Jewish people wanted nothing to do with them. The Samaritans were refused entry into the Temple to worship God. The Jewish people and the Pharisees had built a virtual wall around the Temple so they could not enter. Their view of the Samaritans kept them from hearing the voice of God in their lives.
You see the hero in Jesus parable was the despised and marginalized Samaritan. Jesus used the Samaritan to teach the Pharisees something about what it means to follow Him. Jesus was essentially saying to the Pharisees and the Jewish people, “You can learn something from the Samaritans.” You can learn something from those you stand in judgment against. God can use every person we meet to teach more fully what it means to follow Him.
Our judgment of others can take on many forms. If we see people living in poverty we can quickly assume that we are the Saviors and that we have something to teach them and show them about God. This might be true, but it is also true that we have something to learn from them and God can use them as his precious messengers of His Gospel. God can save us from things that can keep us from growing.
We can also stand in judgment of people based on who they are, how they live, where they are from or how they look. Honestly, this type of judgement is wrong and sinful. We allow our assumptions/ judgments to block our ears from hearing the voice of God in others because either consciously or unconsciously we think less of them.
Today, let’s remove our judgment over the poor, the immigrant, the refugee, and those on the underside of life. Let us not allow our politics, our fear of others or our desire to be “right” to keep us from hearing the voice of God and growing in our relationship with Him and others. Truths of the Kingdom of God can be found in the most unlikely places. But we must be willing to listen. Let us be like Christ and humble ourselves and remove our pride and seriously take time to listen and learn from those on the underside of life.
What is keeping you from hearing the voice of God from those who are on the underside of life?