Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Monday, April 11, 2016

Jericho Road...part 1

Today is part one of a 3 part series! I hope you stay tuned and read all three for the fullest blessing!

"Put Yourself in the Picture

The best way to personalize a personalize a Bible story such as this is to put yourself in the picture. When you read about the thief on the cross, you're the thief on the cross. When you read about the blind man by the side of the road, you're blind Bartimaeus crying out, "Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me." So when you study the story of the good Samaritan, your the good Samaritan...No you're not! And I'm not either! At worst, we're the ones who beat him up in the first place. And at best, we're the one who was beaten up.

So you are the man, traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. It's a trip of about twenty miles. Jerusalem stood at a higher elevation, so you are walking downhill. You walk briskly, for this is not a safe place to loiter. This is a place that has recesses and caves, where thieves and robbers lurk and frequently waylay travelers, as you well know. You go down through a narrow ravine, known as the Valley of Blood, and the inevitable happens. A group of armed men attack you from behind. You haven't a chance even to defend yourself. They take your money and your watch and even your clothes. And then, as if that were not enough, they mug you and finally leave you unconscious, weltering in your own blood.

You lie there for a long time. Finally you come to. The sun is hot. You try to move, but find you are unable to get up. You groan and struggle, but it's no use. But there's good news. You see the preacher coming. Surely the preacher will help. But he doesn't even slow down. He passes by on the other side of the road barley glances in your direction.

Don't Blame the Preacher

Don't be too hard on the preacher! He may have been late and was hurrying to deliver a sermon at the synagogue in Jericho. Maybe he was even planning to preach on brotherly love. If he hung around the Valley of Blood, where someone had already been done in by the robbers, the same thing might happen to him. It would certainly be the lesser of two evils to leave the man and hurry on to Jericho. The spiritual need of his parishioners certainly should come before the needs of one man who was probably going to die anyway. Surely the priest must have done some rationalizing like this, as he hurried on his way.

You're getting chilled now. The sun ahs gone down behind an outcropping of rock, and you lie in the shadows. You're afraid it's all over for you, for not many travelers are on the road at this time of day. But good news! Here comes the church treasurer! He not only can help you to safety, but perhaps he can pay for your medical bills and even get you some clothes. Hope rises in your heart as you see him come over to where you are.

You try to speak, but your words only come out as a groan. Your lips are parched; you can hardly move. he looks down at you and then glances quickly around to see if robbers are lurking nearby. And he hurries on toward town.

Of course he must hurry on. He's carrying a bag filled with the offering money. It wouldn't be right to risk losing the Lord's money by staying in a place like this. Furthermore, his wife and children are expecting him, and running the risk of getting beaten up and robbed on the Jericho Road would not be the fatherly thing to do. He must have thought it through carefully as he hurried on his way, pausing now and again to glance back over his shoulder to make sure he wasn't being followed.

It looks hopeless now. You struggle again to move, but find you are too weak. You are left dizzy and short of breath from even the attempt. It's almost dark, and you are chilled to the bone. You try to resign yourself to slowly losing consciousness and giving in to the inevitable. Even if another traveler comes this way, he wouldn't be likely to see you there, off the side of the road in the shadows.

But you ear footsteps Can I be possible? You strain your eyes to catch a glimpse of someone approaching- and your heart sinks. Oh! It's a Samaritan. You know how you have treated Samaritans yourself in the past. And you shrink back inside yourself, knowing that if your roles were reversed, you not only would not help him, you would probably spit in his face. "

Quote from "Parables of the Kingdom" by Morris L. Venden pages 29-30

Was all hope lost? Would anyone help? Come back tomorrow to find out!! :)

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