Just Like Jesus / 21 Days of Justice Week 1 (Value & Dignity): THURSDAY
With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Invocation: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Word: But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10: 33-37)
Theologian and pastor Tim Keller explains in the following paragraph how Jesus deviated from societal norms in his treatment of people at the margins of society.
“Jesus shocked the social sensibilities of the day by receiving and treating all classes of people with equal love and respect. Samaritans were seen by the Jews as racial inferiors, yet twice Jesus places Samaritans on the same spiritual level as the Jews (Luke 9:54; 17:16). Jesus touched off a riot when he declared that God loved Gentiles, such as the widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian (Luke 4:25-27), as much as Jews. Jesus reached out to lepers who were social outcasts, touching them and defying the contemporary social prohibitions (Luke 5:12-16; 17:11-19). He exhorted his disciples to not only be generous to the poor (Luke 11:41; 12:33; 19:8) but to welcome them into their homes and families (Luke 14:13). Hospitality in that time was an act of friendship and partnership and it was shocking to treat the poor as equals in such a way. Through the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus defined “loving my neighbor” as giving practical, financial, and medical aid to someone of a different religion and race. Both doing justice and loving one’s neighbor means treating people of all races and religions and social classes as equal in dignity and worth.” (https://quarterly.gospelinlife.com/justice-in-the-bible/)
How might you in your daily life treat members of different races and classes with dignity as Christ did? How might you follow in the footsteps of Jesus and be “shockingly” generous in your thoughts, words, and deeds? Pray that we as Christians might be known for treating people of all races and classes with equal dignity and worth.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you shocked the world by treating all classes of people with equal love and respect. Let that surprising love be found also in us, your people. Amen.