As we enter into this last week of the Ekklesia series, we take a look at Luke 10:25–37, better known as the parable of the good Samaritan. In this passage, we see Jesus speak on what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself.” He then goes on to tell the story of the good Samaritan who helps a man who was beaten and ashamed after a priest and a Levite both passed by and did nothing. Jesus then says that the one who proved to be a neighbor to this man was the one who showed him grace, the Samaritan. The Samaritan could just as easily have passed by just like everyone else, and no one would have thought any less of him. He didn’t keep going, though. He stopped to help. Why? Why would he associate himself with such shame and pain? Samaritans were known for keeping to strict Old Testament laws during this time, and associating yourself with this person would not have been something that a Samaritan would typically do. This one, however, helped the man up, aided his wounds, took him to an inn, and paid for his time there while he healed. The point of this passage is that we should do the same for the people that we encounter on a daily basis.
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
— C.S. Lewis
“If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
— John 15:19
It is clear that you and I, as believers, are not of this world. John 15:16 says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” He chose us and appointed us to bear the fruit of his gift to us. We are chosen by him, and we have been gifted an inheritance in him, just as Ephesians 1:11 says, that he chose us before we lived so that we may walk in the good works he has prepared for us. We, as believers, are not of this world because Christ dwells in us. We have been changed by God, and we have been called to live for him, against what the world and what the flesh tells us to do.
We may not be of this world, but that is not means for us to resent it or to judge it out of pride. This story in Luke lays it out clearly, that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. What if our neighbor is addicted to drugs? What if our neighbor is a thief? What if our neighbor is a homosexual? What if our neighbor isn’t a believer? The answer in all of these conditions stays the exact same. No matter the circumstance, we are called to love everyone with the same love, grace and mercy that Christ showed us when he gifted us with eternal life. If all we do is sit in our little church, protected by our walls, we are failing and we are not living out this passage that Jesus laid out for us. We are called by God to go out and make disciples of all nations, of all pasts, of all backgrounds, of all sins, because Christ did the same for us when we were dead, when we were of this world, when we didn’t know him. He chased us down and paid the price out of love for us, giving us life. We have been given life eternal, and by sitting around and not sharing that with everyone that we encounter, we are failing to understand the Gospel that saved us in the first place.
We aren’t of the world, but nowhere does the Bible say that we should hate the world. We are not called to conform to or agree with the sins world, but we are called to love each and every person in it, because that is what Christ did for us.