As the classroom drama unfolded, Billy lay stretched out on the floor with distorted face and appropriate moans. The priest had inspected the scene and had shuffled by. The Levite had stepped aside and hastened on his way toward some unnamed appointment. Billy was still groaning when he reached into his pocket. His demeanor changed from pain to alarm as he sat bolt upright and cried out, “Hey, I HAVE been robbed!”
That skit took place long ago. But there is yet a lesson to be learned from Billy Brinson’s situation. What we persist in acting like we will wind up being. Our mothers told us that. Remember the facial expressions she said would freeze if we kept it up? Or the actions that would become a habit and the habit that would become a destiny?
However, the real message of Jesus’s story lies in the realization that our neighbor is whoever needs our help. We have been introduced to the gift of helps in the twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians. In thinking it through, I wince to recall the times I have driven by the house of my neighbor, a widow. In my haste to get somewhere on time, I have rushed to drop off my garbage at the dumpster as I pass by, but never thought of stopping to ask whether I could carry the neighbor’s trash as well. Alas and alack.
Jesus said, “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he (the lawyer) said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37 NKJV