Doug Johnson: Sometimes the Good Samaritan needs help too
Many people have heard the story that Jesus told of “The Good Samaritan.”
Author Stephen James has written a sequel to that story, and it goes like this:
One day, a priest was walking down a country lane when he heard cries coming from a ditch on the other side of the road.
“Help! Help me, please!”
The priest stopped and strained his neck to see into the ditch.
“What happened to you?”
“I was traveling to town when I was attacked, beaten, and robbed. Please help me, I can’t move,” the voice responded.
The priest paused for a moment.
Then he yelled back to the voice in the ditch. “Listen, there’s this guy called the Good Samaritan who always helps people in need. He should be coming down the road any time now. He’ll help you.”
And the priest went on his way.
Soon, another man came walking along the road. This man was a Levite.
He heard a voice crying: “Help me! Help me, please!”
The Levite stopped in the road and looked from side to side. “Who said that?”
“I did, over here!” called the voice from the ditch on the other side of the road. “I was traveling to town when I was attacked, beaten, and robbed. I need your help!”
“Oh,” said the Levite, gazing into the ditch. “You do sound like someone who could use some help. Wait a minute! Attacked? Beaten? Robbed? That reminds me of a story a fellow named Jesus told! Ever heard of him?”
“Yeah, I know the story. Now, can you help me?”
“Actually, I’m in quite a rush. But I’m sure that someone else will be along shortly to help you. Someone called…um… the Good Samaritan! That’s it! He’ll be along soon. I’m just the Levite. If I helped you, it would ruin the story.”
And he went on his way.
Soon another man came walking along the same road. He ran over to the ditch when he heard the man crying for help.
“Oh, my goodness! What happened?”
“I was traveling to town when I was attacked, beaten and robbed. Two other men have walked by and haven’t helped me. Please help me. I can’t move.”
The traveler peered in at the wounded figure lying on the ground in front of him. Finally, he said, “Wait a minute…you look familiar.
Where are you from? What’s your name?”
“I’m from Samaria. Some people call me the Good Samaritan because I helped an injured man on this road a while back.”
“Yes! Yes! I was the man you helped! All this time I have been looking for you because I wanted to pay you back! Wow, this is great! Now I can finally pay you back! Look, here are two silver coins—exactly what you gave that innkeeper. I feel so much better having finally repaid you. This is wonderful!”
“Wait, wait! I don’t want your money…” whispered the man from Samaria.
But it was too late.
The other man was already gone.
And so, the Good Samaritan died quietly in a ditch by the side of the road.
The moral of this story is: Love is more than words; it’s more than doing what’s easy and convenient.
Love means getting down in the ditch with someone to give them what they really need.
It means getting our hands dirty and being inconvenienced at times. Sometimes it means laying down your life for someone.
That’s what Jesus did for us!
Will you be a Good Samaritan to someone today?
Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.