I wrote this as an addendum to my regular devotional writing on my devotional blog: Daily Enduring Truth. I decided to share this here because I think the story, while simple, has an important message.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-29)
In reply, Jesus said to him, “A certain man was going down to Washington, D.C. to petition his congressman, when he was pistol-whipped and mugged. They stripped him of his clothes, his money, and his credit cards. They left him for dead and went on their way. A Libertarian drove up and looked at the half dead man. “Everyone knows this is a bad neighborhood. He should have made better choices. We’re all responsible for our own choices.” He shook his head and then went on his way. Then a Republican came along and looked at the man who was beginning to stir. “You know you could have prevented this,” he said as he patted his chest. “If you had just gotten your concealed carry license you wouldn’t be having these problems.” Then he drove away also smiling and patting his chest. Then along came a Democrat. When he saw the man he immediately got out of his car and made sure that man was breathing. He pulled out his first aid kit and bandaged the wounds. Then he put the man in his own car and drove him to the nearest hospital. When the nurse asked about the man’s insurance, he couldn’t reply, since he was still out of it, so the Democrat looked at her and said, “I’ll pay for everything, Just take care of him.” He pulled out his American Express® card to let her know that he was serious.
Jesus then said, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37)
We live in a world that is so politically charged that many will read this story wrong. Still, Jesus probably had some of the same problem. So, before you misinterpret this story, let me point out that I am an Independent Conservative, not a Democrat. That is why a Democrat is the hero of the story. If you are a Democrat, or even a liberal who doesn’t identify with the Democrat party, you need to have a Republican as the hero of the story. Switch the order and have the Democrat say something like, “Oh, that’s terrible. Someone ought to help him,” and then drive away while the Republican cares for him. The key is understanding the message of Jesus about loving our neighbor. We are called to be neighbors to all people: Republican or Democrat – even Libertarians, citizen or immigrant, Christian or non-Christian. Being a neighbor doesn’t mean thinking good things of the people around you; being a neighbor means being the kind of person who helps people in need without worrying about how they got there. Our job is to show mercy.