Brett came upstairs from his man cave and announced, “I think I have a new title for a blog post; I Can No Longer Defend the Faith.” He gave me a brief synopsis of his thoughts and the light went on in my brain. I said, “I like it, I can just see it. The Pharisee’s who defended their faith and turf by keeping others who didn’t belong, according to their standards, out of their church, while Jesus stood on the hillside speaking to anyone who would listen to Him.” It seems ridiculous for us to try to picture the disciples roaming about the hillside frowning at people because Jesus had told them that people shouldn’t come to church in a pair of jeans.
Think how different the new testament would read if Jesus would have based his ministry on the popular theology of the day. Here is a tongue in cheek revisiting of “The Good Samaritan.”
I have new perspective of the story of the good Samaritan. I have looked at it from the viewpoint of the priest and the Levite. Rather than casting the priest and Levite as the villains, let’s cast them as the heroes. Take a look at the situation from the priest and Levite’s perspective. The man was going to die anyway. He shouldn’t have been stupid enough to put himself in a situation where he would be beaten and robbed. If they helped him their own safety would be in jeopardy. I can see why they needed to put distance between themselves and him. The priest and Levite, like most people including myself, prefer to live an ordinary life untouched by too many ups and downs. Besides if they helped him their own clothing would become stained with his blood and everyone knows blood stains are hard to get out, sometimes permanently ruining an article of clothing. Yes, it was best to cross on the other side of the street.
Now let’s cast the good Samaritan as the villain rather than the hero.
Let’s be honest, the good Samaritan gives us an example we would not want to emulate or encourage others to do. The Priest and Levite had committed God’s commands to heart, and knew what He declared “clean” and “unclean”. They are to be admired for resisting the temptation to cast God’s law aside and participate in an activity, no matter what good might come from it, that would break God’s commands and defile them. Even in the face of what many people might praise them for, they held fast to the law and held principle above people. Now that is true Christian courage, resisting temptation, even to do good, when it goes against the law. The Samaritan did not hold the same regard for God’s law as the priest and Levite. He tossed aside those commands with reckless abandon to follow what his own heart told him to do, and we all know there is nothing more deceitful than the human heart. Yes, to follow the example of the Samaritan could be disastrous to our own spiritual status and could even rock the very foundations of the church, and no one wants that.
Now to get back on track. The good Samaritan lived his faith, he lived the love God put in his heart. He didn’t have to go to church and preach a sermon or teach a lesson on how to defend your faith. He lived it and people saw it. His faith spoke for itself. Jesus faith in his Father spoke for itself. Because he accepted and truly believed he had the perfect love of his father he could easily share it with everyone else. He didn’t need to be better than others by bragging about how much the father loved him because he was so perfect. No. He just lived his faith in his fathers love and it spoke for itself.
The faith of the Bible greats (Hebrews 11), Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Rahab, Gideon, Samson, David, Samuel and others, still speaks even after their deaths. Will your faith still speak after death has silenced your tongue? Will you be remembered for the faith inspired life you walked?
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2