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Tag Archives: parable of the good Samaritan

Unusual and Remarkable Kindness

When my parents moved from New Jersey in 1977, Delaware was considered part of the south. As a boy struggling with stuttering, the southern hospitality bestowed upon me eased my concerns about making new friends. This unusual and remarkable kindness did not fade away, remaining as long as I lived in this neighborhood. However, when I moved back to Delaware in the late 1990’s, the influences of nearby large metropolitan cities has slowly erased southern hospitality. While you will cross paths with kind people, unusual and remarkable acts are rare.

And the natives showed us unusual and remarkable kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed and received us all, since it had begun to rain and was cold, Acts 28:2.

After enduring a northeaster for two weeks at sea, all 276 passengers made it to shore before their ship was lost. While on the island of Malta, Luke makes an interesting observation. It’s unclear if the island natives developed an unfair reputation or they went the extra mile for these helpless souls, but they were overwhelmed by Malta’s kindness. Despite a cold and rainy day, a large fire was started to provide warmth. While this tribe may not have ever heard of the parable of the Good Samaritan, their actions were in line with God’s love.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil, Luke 6:35.

In this age of social media where eyes are fixated on cell phones, electronic devices or game consoles, experiencing unusual or remarkable kindness is uncommon. Perhaps, this is a direct result of inaction, forgetting to practice loving and praying for your enemies. Sure, when you go to a restaurant, you will find talented hosts and hostesses that make dining out worth your time and money. Yet, when motives are impure, the golden rule of treating others as you want to be treated can disappear. May this blog inspire you to strive to live out God’s love through unusual and remarkable acts of kindness.

by Jay Mankus

Slowing Down to Serve

The concept “eye of the tiger” was introduced by the Rocky Series of movies.  Meredith Burgess plays Mick, Sylvester Stallone’s boxing trainer.  When Rocky becomes focused, he develops an eye like a tiger on the prowl.  Thus, in the 1982 film Rocky 3, the group Survivor creates a theme song that highlights this concept.  Unfortunately, I find myself way too often in the zone like this song’s lyrics.  Obsessed with a project or task at hand, this state prevents me from slowing down to serve others.

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, Luke 10:31-32.

One day some religious leaders had a busy schedule to keep.  There were places to go, people to meet and lives to touch.  During their travels, some bystanders were overlooked, passed by and skipped over.  Thus, the beggar on the street corner was neglected again, not willing to change their course.  While Jesus refers to a priest and a Levite in the passage above, I see myself as a weekly offender, too busy to recognize the Samaritan in need of help.

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, Luke 10:33-34.

The other night at work, I listened to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.  In the hour that followed,  I was amazed at the opportunities that God brought my way.  Before I knew it, I helped an associate with a scanner problem; then another with a question about life, love and marriage.  On any other evening, I wouldn’t have noticed these people.  However, whenever you slow down enough, its much easier to see how God can use you to serve others.

by Jay Mankus

Family, Strangers and the Needy

The Bible kindly suggests that retirement is not an option, with always another calling to consider.  As life expectancy was altered following the introduction of sin by Adam and Eve, things changed.  Thus, as earth’s atmosphere shifted from an Open Canopy to what it is today after the flood, people needed to rely on families as age took its toll on human bodies.  Those without a family were at the mercy of strangers and the needy to survive.

When Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there, Ruth 1:6.

In the Old Testament, it was custom for harvesters to leave some of their crops for the poor.  Typically, the area along the edges of property lines was not picked clean, giving the less fortunate a place to pick up something to eat.  Thus, if you were desperate enough, this is where you would go if you wanted food.  Although times have changed, today individuals in need try to find a busy intersection where the wealthy may pass by in a nice vehicle.

And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter,” Ruth 2:2.

A modern parable of the Good Samaritan is written daily as those moved or touched stop to offer a couple of dollars here or there.  Yet, is this the right decision or should God’s people take a more proactive role?  Perhaps, taking this person to lunch like the Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 is a better alternative.  While this act of love is difficult for me, its what any loving family member would do for a relative.  Therefore, don’t just limit your kindness to those you know.  Rather, extend Christ’s love to strangers and the needy.

by Jay Mankus

Do You See What I See?

Horse trainers have discovered that using racing blinders helps a thoroughbred stay focused on the task at hand, winning a race.  Instead of directing their attention toward opponents, spectators at the track and various other distractions that exist on race day, these horses have been taught to look straight ahead by their jockeys, keeping their eyes on the finish line.  Unfortunately, a growing number of people have bought into this mindset.  Subsequently, many individuals are acting like thoroughbreds, neglecting the world around around them, blind to the dejection, fear and hurt within the souls of mankind.

Recently, I have become an expert at putting on blinders, seeing what I want to see and moving on, refusing to accept the painful reality of this life.  My self-seeking nature has led to a “what’s in it for me” attitude, like Ray Kinsella at the end of Field of Dreams, forgetting the purpose of his existence.  While I am suppose to be a light for the world, Matthew 5:13-14, I resemble a flashlight, flicking light on or off when I want.  Thus, opportunities to encourage, lend a helping hand or share your time with a person in need are lost.

In Genesis 40:6-7, Joseph, son of Israel, sets an example for the world to follow.  Unlike the average individual, oblivious to people around them, Joseph notices 2 dejected men.  Although he could have ignored their body language and facial expressions, Joseph takes advantage of their depressed state, taking a risk by asking 2 prisoners a question.  Rather than run away from confrontation, Joseph becomes a vessel for healing, at least for the cup bearer.  In response to Joseph’s actions, one must ponder, “do you see what he saw?”  Or are you too busy to slow down like the first 2 characters mentioned in the parable of the good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37, due to a full schedule?  Open your eyes and ears on this Labor Day or else the words of John 8:47 will be proven true, sealing your eternal fate.

by Jay Mankus

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