A series about parables would not be complete without one of the best known stories of the bible, the parable of the good Samaritan.
The day I was saved I was working as an executive for a high profile NASDAQ software development company. Successfully handling a multi-million dollar advertising campaign, I single handedly increased traffic to our company’s websites by 3,000 percent in less than four months. My resigning as Total Entertainment’s Director of Marketing not only came as a surprise to my family, friends and co-workers, it was an absolute shock to me as well seeing how I had finally achieved financial success.
I decided to quit the perfect secular job as I was listening to pastor Rick Warren’s during my second visit to Saddleback church in California. I just could no longer justify greed driven employment and sixty hour work weeks spent feeding mindless capitalism. Instead, I sailed off on a mission from God setting up an internet ministry and allowing the Lord to guide me to a place I had almost forgotten about.
An established online marketing expert, I continued to assist purpose driven companies in their internet marketing endeavors through consulting and sometimes, implementation of proven web marketing strategies. I try and not let the abundance of internet marketing work interfere with my serving the Lord or affect my role as a husband, father and friend.
Earlier this week, I was approached by a New York business owner looking to increase sales using the internet as a platform. At first glance, the nature of the business and apparent lack of faith led me to decline the offer. Then, after much consideration and prayer, I felt inspired to assist this person even though she did not mention God or Christ in her emails or phone conversations. For whatever reason, I feel the Lord wants me to help this person.
In the spirit of gratitude toward God for the web marketing savvy He allows me to possess, I decided to assist this business owner free of charge rather than request my usual consulting fee. How does this compare to the Good Samaritan parable? Let’s find out…
“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He 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.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “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. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He 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.The 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.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)
This parable illustrates a poetic role reversal where involving stereotypes of that day. While priests and Levites were regarded as good and faithful servants of God, Samaritans were known to be defiant of God’s commands. In this story, it is clear this Samaritan knew how to answer the need of a neighbor even though this was someone he had never met.
What’s important about this parable is that we are called to be a good neighbor to all rather than waste time trying to figure out who our neighbors are. In this story, the Samaritan answers this call but the Lawyer does not even though he got the right answer. By avoiding to award credence to the Samaritan, the conniving lawyer chooses to generalize his answer showing prejudice toward his neighbor, gravely failing the Lord.
Does this mean we are to help everyone that asks or needs our help? As long as their intentions are righteous, yes it does. Imagine a life of faith driven service that stretches beyond borders. Imagine living from one town to the next helping anyone and everyone in need while preaching the word of God. Imagine the life of Jesus Christ.
I plan on faithfully helping as many people I can and including my family and friends as part of my ministry. I fulfill this mission by writing weekly messages or by counseling those in need. Sometimes I serve God through internet marketing or web design, other times I help people through photography. Of course I tithe, pick angels from angel trees, stuff shoe boxes or backpacks for orphans and foster kids.
I try and help all my neighbors but too often find myself falling short of His glory when I let my own prejudice rob me of the verse above. Sometimes I can’t help but doubt my neighbors.
In lieu of this parable and the fact I have the time and resources to help many, I will continue to spread God’s light any way I can and invite you to do the same. Remember the more people we help through our Faith in Christ, the closer we get to His kingdom.
“The body without the spirit is dead. In the same way, faith without good works is dead.” (James 2:26)
Are you a faithful believer in Jesus Christ? Have you works to show for, or fruit from seeds you planted in faith? Are you a good Samaritan? Best apply the parable and verse above in our lives so we too can live according to God’s promise.
We thank you for your unconditional love
And for your forgiveness in our sins,
We thank you for inspiring us
To be good to all our neighbors.
Lord we pray you will continue to lead our footsteps
And guide us to the way everlasting,
And that you will provide all we need
To serve you and witness to those around us.
May your light continue to shine bright upon us
Upon our families, our friends and all those in need.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre