Sunday, October 24, 2010

A revisit of the parable "The Good Samaritan"

Many of us are familiar with the parable of the Good Samaritan and the background reason why Jesus shared the parable in Luke 10:25-37. The phrase "Good Samaritan" has been used for ages as a common phrase when describing a person who goes out of his way to help another. There are a lot of learning point in this parable but there is one truth that prevail that is we need to love our neighbours as ourselves. The Samaritan saw his neighbour as anyone who was in need. In this parable, the injured man was a total stranger and he might even be a Jew, the very people that hated the Samaritan. The Jews despised the Samaritans so much that they would not have sat at the same table with them and even tried to avoid speaking to them.

The Good Samaritan story teaches us about Agape love. A love that cares even for our enemies and the people we really can’t stand. We are called to a radical love. A love that goes the extra mile, even in the literal sense when necessary. A love that does not retaliate, but responds with kindness. I believe that is what makes Christian different, or at least, that is what it supposes to be.

In 1994, a fifth-grade class at Lake Elementary School in Oceanside, California made headlines when the boys in the class decided by themselves to shave their heads. They did so, without embarrassment, because one of their own, Ian O'Gorman, developed cancer and had undergone chemotherapy. His hair began to fall out. To make their friend feel at home, to feel one with the crowd, all his classmates agreed to shave their heads, so that upon his return, Ian would not stand out from the class. No one would know who the "cancer kid" was. In fact even their class teacher was so moved by the spirit of his class he too shaved his head.

Agape love is about sacrifice. It is about sacrificing our convenience for the convenience of others who are in need. The Good Samaritan had to adjust his plans in order to help the wounded man. It causes him his time, his money and maybe even an opportunity to strike a business deal. In fact it was risky decision that he made especially knowing the road that he is travelling is full of danger.

From the parable above we can also learn that Agape love is about loving others indiscriminately. It can be inconvenient and sometimes risky. And it requires our time and can be expensive. The Samaritan had performed a neighbourly act when two religious leaders had failed in their responsibility. Are Christians to be "do-gooders"? Yes, I suppose. But our motivation for doing good must be love for others, an interest in meeting their basic needs, a heart of mercy that is moved by compassion. And that is only through Agape Love.

At the end of the parable, Jesus commands the legal expert to "Go and do likewise". And this command is still valid today. We are told to "Go and do likewise". We are approaching Christmas soon and it is a time of giving. Why not do something different this year. Maybe go the extra to bless someone who is in need. I love what the Apostle John taught, "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:17-18). Go and do likewise.

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Interesting Fact: Nepotism

Nepotism is the practice of allowing employment and economic policies that permit favoritism toward one's family. Interestingly enough, nepotism began in the church and gained its name after the church practice in the Middle Ages.

Check out more information at

Sadly, it still exist today in many churches. I don’t snub the practice of nepotism in church hiring practices completely, but I do believe that those in leadership need to be careful. We must be very sure that the people on the payroll are the best possible man or woman for the job. We ought to hold ourselves to a high accountability—higher than most. After all, the church represent God to the world, and we should be setting the standard especially in the area of good governance.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Fragility of Life

In the last couple of weeks, we have seen two dramatic events that shocked many of us. One ended up in the untimely death of 13 people after a nasty bus accident together with five other vehicles in Malaysia. The other event ended in one of the most touching and dramatic rescue effort recorded in this decade that is the rescue of 33 miners who were trapped for 69 days in a mine shaft in Chile.

There are tons of articles about this two incidents available in the newsprint and in the internet. Many of my blogger friends jump the band wagon to blog about these two incidents and share their opinion. While reading all these articles, I started to ponder on how fragile life could be and not to take it for granted. We get so caught up in everyday life, we forget how fragile life is; especially on things that last for eternity.

We work hard to achieve success, acquire wealth, fill the aching voids in our heart, and to look good in society. But often times, we give very little thought to what is beyond this life or worst case; we ignore them even after knowing the truth. We get caught up in preparing a comfortable life for ourselves here and now and forget about the comfort of our afterlife. And then one day when it hits us that life is fragile, we find that all we have chased after here on earth will not save us when it comes to eternity.

Ecclesiastes 2: 10-11 says “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done, and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

Our security and self-worth cannot be wrapped up in the things that we do in life. How many of us have done great things in life and have had many successes yet when we are alone at night we feel so empty and alone? King Solomon said it best in the above verse, “everything was meaningless.” We must live our lives in such a way that our hope, our security and self-worth are grounded in our Lord.

Life is meaningless without our Lord because He give us hope for eternity.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Do you want to be honored?

Mark 10:44-45 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

A non-commissioned officer was directing the repairs of a military building during the American Revolution. He was barking orders to the soldiers under his command, trying to get them to raise a heavy wooden beam.

As the men struggled in vain to lift the beam into place, a man who was passing by stopped to ask the one in charge why he wasn’t helping the men. With all the pomp of an emperor, the soldier responded, “Sir, I am a corporal!”

“You are, are you?” replied the passerby, “I was not aware of that.” Then, taking off his hat and bowing, he said, “I ask your pardon, Corporal.” Then the stranger walked over and strained with the soldiers to lift the heavy beam. After the job was finished, he turned and said, “Mr. Corporal, when you have another such job, and have not enough men, send for your Commander in Chief, and I will come and help you a second time.” The corporal was thunderstruck. The man’s name was General George Washington.

We all want to be honored, respected and appreciated. So badly, sometimes, that we try to demand it. The fact is, that these things cannot be demanded or even requested. True honor, respect and appreciation only come one way. When we become servants.

Let’s ask the Lord to help us to become the servants he would desire. After all, He did set a great example by laying down his life for us.

This article was provided by Worthy Devotions.