In Luke chapter 10 Jesus tells us one of the most familiar parables in the bible, the parable about the Good Samaritan. Jesus tells this parable to answer the question ‘Who is my neighbour?’ and much is preached about the need to care for others, regardless of race, faith or social status. But it is also a parable about healing. It is a story about someone going about their daily life, travelling from one town to another, when they get attacked, stripped, beaten up and left for dead.
The victim is eventually discovered by a stranger and the process of healing begins. Firstly oil and wine are poured onto the wounds and then the wounds are bandaged up. The victim is then put on the rescuer’s donkey and taken to an inn where they are nursed back to health. They are then left in the care of the inn keeper, all expenses paid, until the rescuer returns when, we assume, a full recovery will have been made.
Could you now imagine yourself in the story? Could you be the traveller going about your normal daily life? Something happens to you and you end up feeling naked, beaten up and left for dead. I’m sure there are times in our lives, past or present, when we have felt like that. Who is your Good Samaritan? What is involved in the healing process for you?
Can you see Jesus as your Good Samaritan, rescuing you from the pitfalls of life? Can you see the wine and the oil as the ministry of prayer and of the Holy Spirit as you go on your journey of recovery? Could the church be a place where you find restoration and wholeness?
But this story works on many different levels. Could you be the Good Samaritan? Is there someone on your journey who has been beaten up by life? Could you help to rescue them, bind up their wounds, minister to their needs and take them to a safe place to recover? Or could you be the inn keeper, ready to receive those who need encouraging on the road to a full recovery? Or could you go back out onto the highways of life and rescue others as you wait for the Good Samaritan to return?
Theophilus is the guy for whom Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. (Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1) Theophilus means ‘Lover of God’ so, if you love God, it was written for you!