What Makes the Good Samaritan “Good”?

Pastor Rachel Billups

Big Serve Day at Ginghamsburg was awesome! Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day, and a recap of the commissioning message before scattering to serve.

The world has mega problems

Wars we didn’t start, fighting in our own communities, division within our inner-most circles, pandemics, earthquakes, storms, wild fires – just to name a few.

It’s a lot, but we’re still human.

You and I were created with a deep desire to make a difference in the world.

Sometimes we simply don’t know how.

How can anything we do really have an effect on what happens around us?

What’s the work of one person against the odds?

We are striving to be people who love Jesus and do something about it.

What if we stop trying to fix everything?

What if we simply expose the one light we’ve each been given to shine?

The gospel of Luke documents an encounter between Jesus and an expert in the law.

The expert asked Jesus a genuine question, “What do I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus answered with another question, “What does the law say?”

“Love God, and love your neighbor as your yourself,” said the expert.

“Right on!” Jesus replied.

But the expert wasn’t satisfied. “Exactly who is my neighbor?” He asked.

And so Jesus told him a story:

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by 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, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii 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: 30-37 NIV).

This, of course, is the widely told story of the good Samaritan. But what is it that makes the Samaritan “good”?

  1. OPEN YOUR EYES – the Samaritan saw the beaten down man. Do you truly see people? Keep your eyes open for the work that God is already doing and for those yet to be noticed.
  1. STOP FOR HOLY INTERRUPTION – The Samaritan stopped to feel – and then do – using bandages, oil and wine. Don’t miss God opportunities to build genuine relationship with each other and the people around you while you’re out and about. Holy interruptions can happen at any moment.
  1. GO THE EXTRA MILE— the good Samaritan didn’t simply bandage up the wounds – he took this traveler to a place where he could experience ongoing care, even beyond what the Samaritan himself could offer. So, however you can, whenever you can…pour yourself out for the people around you.
  1. LOVE REGARDLESS—someone is bound to get a little cranky, something is bound to go wrong, there will always be kinks in the schedule – but let’s practice our commitment to love regardless. That’s when God really gets to work.

Open Your Eyes, Stop for Holy Interruptions, Go the Extra Mile and Love Regardless!!!

This is what we know to do.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” -Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.


So let’s be people of love.

Rachel Billups 1 Senior Pastor Visionary

Rachel Billups
Senior Pastor | Ginghamsburg Church