Another example of Jesus teaching us to stop and take time for people is in Luke 10. This is the story of the good Samaritan. Jesus is talking here about who is our neighbour and he says, ‘”A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
We see here that the priest and the Levite (who today would be like a deacon) were too busy to take the time for the man in need. Dispite the fact that he was dying on the side of the road. Jesus then gives us the example that we are to be like the Samaritan and even stop and show mercy to our enemies. That means not just our friends and family or people we like, but even those who try to do bad against us.
The problem with this is most of the time we don’t even show mercy and take time for our actual neighbours. Look at this story from the daily mail newspaper.
Woman, 85, lay dead in her flat for FIVE YEARS before anyone noticed
The badly decomposed remains of an 89-year-old woman were discovered in her flat five years after she died, police revealed today. Isabella Purves’ body was only found after a downstairs neighbour noticed water dripping through the ceiling of her tenement flat and reported it to the local council. Officers forced their way into her flat, fighting through the piles of unopened mail which had gathered behind her front door, before making the gruesome discovery. It is thought nobody noticed Miss Purves was missing as her pension was paid directly into a bank account and bills were paid by direct debit.
Could you imagine. What if local Christians had been acting in the way which God intended for us to live. We need to find time in our busy schedules to take time for people. My challenge for you today is to visit one of your neighbours and check everything is okay. How can you show something of Jesus love to them?