“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: 36-37
Beginning in 2012, Airbnb (an online accommodation and hospitality platform) has helped connect thousands of people with safe places to stay while rebuilding their lives after devastating natural disasters, wars or other displacing events – all for free. Why would everyday people voluntarily open their homes to strangers, especially those with incredibly different backgrounds, beliefs and even worldviews? The answer: compassion. And TRUE compassion has the power to transform lives.
Jesus spoke about the power of this principle through the parable of a Samaritan man stopping to help a Jewish man who had been robbed, wounded and left for dead. You can read the full story in Luke 10: 25-37. What must people have thought seeing a Samaritan show compassion and care for an injured Jew? Not only was the Samaritan putting his own life in danger if the robbers were still in the area, but he was ignoring the very real racism and prejudice that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. Talk about an incredibly powerful act of kindness.
The church and followers of Christ have a similar opportunity to demonstrate compassion and to love those hurting and in need – especially people who are different from ourselves. This includes people from difference backgrounds, experiences, worldview, and yes… even different political views. Why? Because Jesus loved us first. Jesus loved us when we were beaten down and broken by this world. Jesus doesn’t care who we are, where we’re from, or our own personal baggage. Going out of His way, Jesus chose to save us by dying on the cross for our sins – every single one of us. It’s out of this love that we are to love others.
How can you better love your neighbors, family, colleagues, and strangers today? No matter how different they may appear, remember the love and compassion Jesus showed you when He went to the cross in your place. May your love and compassion for others demonstrate what it means to know and follow Jesus.