Day 141: May 21, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Luke 10:25-37 Read Online


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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

—Luke 10:33-34

The One Who Showed Mercy
by Lauren O'Neill, Senior Adult and Congregational Care Assistant, Brentwood Campus

At a very early age, my parents taught my brother and me this Bible story of the Good Samaritan. I remember thinking about this story as a young girl, and trying to imagine the way the Samaritan must have felt as he was helping the fallen man, mentioned in verse 30 of today’s text.

The Samaritan would’ve known the prejudices between his own people and the Jews. He would’ve also known that by stopping and helping the fallen man, he might be endangering himself and putting his own life at risk. He might’ve known it would cost his own money and time. Yet, he stopped to help.

Even as a young girl, I knew that some form of love was the thing that prompted the Samaritan to stop. There was something he felt in his heart—and it caused him to act.

Compassion, in this case, was the Samaritan’s inward acknowledgement of the fallen man’s need. It was the emotion he felt in his heart, which inspired his mercy. Mercy was then the action that followed, as an effect of the compassion he felt.

It makes me wonder: how many times do I feel compassion, yet fail to go the next step and actually show that mercy to someone?

Every day, I pass by people in hallways and on streets. I sit next to people in restaurants, stand next to people in line, and see people while I’m out walking in my neighborhood.

If I take the time to look at faces, there are entire worlds and stories written out for my eyes to see and know. Worry is written across a furrowed brow, happiness is seen in a smile, exhaustion weighs heavy upon tired eyelids, and love shines out through a pair of eyes.

All around us, there are people who have fallen down and been beaten up—mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. They can’t provide for their own needs, and they get no rest from their efforts to try. They’re walking around, catalysts for our compassion, but how many of us are moved to actually act in mercy?

It takes that one extra step out of our comfort zones to actually live out this kind of love.

Christ showed this type of love towards us, both by His life and His death. All throughout the Bible, we read that God feels compassion for us. He noticed the weary, the broken, the lost, and the hurting. But then He always took it one step further, and acted in mercy.

Christ lived out the example of a perfect love, to reach the hearts of a broken people. And as He explains to the expert of the law in this parable of the Good Samaritan, He expects us to go and do the same (verse 37)—to be like the one who showed mercy.

Reflection Questions

  1. In this story, the Samaritan stopped and took care of the man who had fallen. He bound his wounds, made sure he had shelter, and paid some of his expenses. When you think about having mercy on someone in your own life, what does that look like to you? What action does mercy take, in your mind? How would you describe it?
  2. Think about a time someone had mercy on you. How did it make you feel?
  3. Christ showed us the ultimate mercy when He gave His life on the cross as payment for our sin. He still shows us mercy, each day. How are some ways He has shown mercy to you? To your family?

About the Author

Lauren O'Neill
» Blog/Website

Lauren O’Neill serves at Brentwood Baptist as an Administrative Assistant to the Senior Adult and Congregational Care ministers. Working behind the scenes is often her preferred place of ministry, but she’s also had plenty of time in the spotlight as a Christian singer/songwriter and worship leader—all before getting married and moving to Franklin with her husband Tim in 2011. In her free moments, she’s inevitably found reading a book, writing, or playing piano—with a glass of iced coffee close beside her. Her passions include teaching and studying the written Word, music, and traveling. She dreams of authoring a children’s book some day. You can read some of her writings at laurennoneill.blogspot.com.