There is so much bitterness going on in the world today. We have a history of racism in this country as well as many others. It has been going on throughout the world probably since there were races. Our country is struggling with this. It has gotten tremendously better since several decades ago, but we still have work to do. And racism is not the only problem. Right now we see hatred on both sides toward and from most races. We see people judging entire people groups because of what a few have done. We see disrespect toward those who serve and try to make this country a better place. We see people looking down on others because of their situation and others taking advantage of it and the system. We see bitterness toward those who believe differently, whether it would be politically, religiously or what their opinions are about certain issues. What are we to do? What did Jesus have to say about this and what was His example? It’s pretty simple, really. Be kind, love others and treat each other right. One parable comes to mind that tells us how we are to treat others.
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
So he answered and said, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND,’ and ‘YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'”
And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’
So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
It doesn’t specify, but considering the man was coming from Jerusalem, He was most likely a Jew. Jews and Samaritans hated each other. Racism was very real during this time. The priest and the Levite were supposed to be the righteous people of the day, yet they chose to ignore the person in need and look the other way. But the Samaritan, who was hated by Jews, did not concern himself with who this man was, what his nationality or religion or political beliefs were. He not only helped the man, but went above and beyond, and showed kindness and helped him. I wonder what the innkeeper or others around him thought. He probably was looked down upon for even helping this person. He didn’t just bandage him up, but he paid to heal his wounds and came back to check on him. How much would we do for someone like this who is different from us? How much do we show kindness and help those in need?
1 John 3:17-19
But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
Like the Good Samaritan, Jesus went above and beyond for each of us. He died on the cross so that we can be free from sin. By His stripes we are healed. We are healed from the spiritual death that we have lived. Jesus loves us so much that He laid down His life for us. While we were sinners. While we were enemies of God He did this for us.
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Considering what Jesus did for us, shouldn’t we show love to others, no matter who they are, where they come from or what they look like? Jesus said that we are the light of the world. Let us shine our lights and be kind and help those in need. We are to be more like Jesus.
Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled
As God has shown us grace, we ought to show grace to others and share the love of God to all those around us.