So I was playing with my kids today, and I had someone online wanting to play a game with me; in addition, I had other obligations running through the back of my mind, and I realized suddenly that this person online, whom I barely know from Steam is most likely a kid because of the way he’s chatting. The question runs through my mind, “Where is this kid’s father?” And I realized in that moment how utterly blessed I am because I have my kids beside me clamoring for my attention, while this poor kid on the Internet is reaching out to people he doesn’t know because he’s lonely and missing his father in that moment. Time gets past us all too quickly, and then it’s all used up and gone. Then we’re out into eternity and awakened in that moment by our Savior: for us it will be as nothing since we’ll no longer be tied to the temporal aspects of our flesh, and He Himself promises to be with us as we pass through the waters.
My oldest is turning seventeen this year, and my youngest just turned one. It’s hard for me to believe how quickly time flees before us, and faster every day, or so it seems. We get busy, we get distracted, and then we get old; and we find at the end of the day a good number of things left undone that we wish we’d finished or at least got around to. Some of us do better, and some of us fare worse; but we are all the same in the final moments of this life: time run out and things undone. God’s Will be served, and He knows what He’s doing when it comes to our time and mortality. It is, as we know, God after all Who establishes the boundaries of peoples and nations, of tribes and of tongues. The point is that we never have quite so much time as we think we have.
I’m sure the priest and the Levite were on their way to do important things that day on the road to Jericho when they saw someone off to one side in need of time and attention. They had plans and places to be. Perhaps they were on their way to tend to the “big things” of God, or maybe they were just not willing to be bothered that day. In any case, as they were traveling the same way as the poor beaten man, from the City of our God to the City of Curses, both the priest and the Levite went out of their way not to help the man. But the Samaritan, who we are simply told was journeying through, saw the man, had compassion on him, and gave the poor fellow his own position of honor—treating the man as he himself would want to be treated. He tended the man’s wounds, poured upon him oil and wine, the Spirit and the Blood, rode him through the streets like Mordecai upon his own beast of burden, and brought him to the innkeeper, whom he compensated and promised a further recompense upon his return.
You will notice that Jesus does not say here that the destination isn’t important, but I speak the Truth when I say that every step of the Way presents us with opportunities to follow Christ or to go our own way. You will notice that Jesus does not comment here upon the destination of the Samaritan, but I tell you the Truth when I say that He did this in part to show us that the man’s destination was obvious by way of contrast. The priest and the Levite were tending to their own desires and not the desires of God that day. They had forgotten, or indeed never knew, that the call to tend to the immediate pressing physical and eternal needs of a fellow human being is the business of the Father, which we ought ever to be about. This then is Jesus’ admonition to us upon our understanding of the Truth: “Go and do likewise.”
It is my sincere prayer that as you go about your way today that the Father would open your eyes to the things that are truly important, that He would place within your heart a desire to focus presently upon those things, and that He would give you peace regarding all those things which rush in on us and demand of us more than we think we can ever give. And if you have a child or children, take time to listen and respond in meaningful ways every day. May God bless you and keep you as you consider these things. Thank you for reading this message.