Page 3 - May 2021 - Truth & Tidings
P. 3

n what is often called the story of  see their physical, emotional and spiritual
            the Good Samaritan, the Lord Jesus  needs?
        Ishows us what crisis care looks like.   Arguably, the priest and Levite may have
        Surprisingly unaided by religious figures,   been concerned also, but they kept travel-
        the nearly dead (and presumably Jewish)   ing. Not the Samaritan. Notice his compas-
        man in the ditch needed immediate rescue.   sion – “when he saw him, he had compas-
        Finally it arrived, but from an unexpected   sion on him.” He didn’t see anything the
        source. A Samaritan came and “took care”   other two didn’t, but he felt something they
        of him (Luk 10:34). The Greek epimeleomai   didn’t. Do we have merely a concern for
        (translated “take care”) is found twice in   the needs of God’s people or a heart to do
        the story and has pastoral links. Paul, in   something for them?
        his list of qualifications for elders, writes   In order to rescue this man, there was a
        that they are to “take care” (epimeleomai)   cost. The Samaritan poured oil and wine
        of the church of God (1Ti 3:5). The Greek   into his wounds, bandaged them, and paid
        root (melo) is used in 1 Peter 5:7, describing   to bring him to an inn. So too will it cost
        God’s care for us, also within a pastoral   us to aid believers who need crisis care,
        context.                             whether it be measured in hours, currency
          Although a shepherd heart should be   or both. Love willingly sacrifices for others.
        found in every Christian, it is a necessity
        for those who lead God’s assembly. Some-  The Samaritan also demonstrated cour-
        times the care required reaches crisis levels,   age. After all, those who robbed and beat
        as it did for the man in Jesus’ story. For   this victim could be lurking nearby and do
        many believers today, the care they need   the same to him. But he took the risk be-
        is similarly urgent. With struggles exacer-  cause he had a heart to help. Do we? Are we
        bated by a global pandemic, believers are   willing to risk the misunderstanding and
        being attacked from without and within.   criticism that getting involved may bring?
        Doubts about God’s goodness invade the   Finally, notice his commitment. He en-
        mind. Anxiety and depression have some   trusted  the  care  of  this  victim  into  the
        feeling helpless and alone, with not a few   hands of the innkeeper and promised that
        experiencing suicidal thoughts. Some are  he would return and pay whatever addi-
        overwhelmed with grief as loved ones have  tional amount was due. How far into the
        suddenly passed. Others have tragically  future does our commitment go to help
        turned to addicting substances to deal with  a fellow believer? Do we somehow think
        their pain. Now those substances have  we’ve “done our duty” with a quick email
        them in their grip. With such profound  or text? Crisis care demands more. And
        and complex need, we often feel totally  like the Samaritan, there may be times
        inadequate to help. But Jesus’ story shows  when getting others involved is required,
        us that we can.                      knowing our limitations.
          Notice the concern of the Samaritan. Jesus   We may not feel qualified to help every-
        says, “He saw him.” He got close enough  one in every crisis, but we can certainly do
        to see the man’s need. How close are we  some of what this Samaritan did for those
        to believers around us? Close enough to  in need. “Go, and do thou likewise.”

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