It is no accident that we explored the story of the Good Samaritan on Christmas Eve. A story that is found in the Gospel according to Luke 10:25-37 (NLT) most if not all of Christians know “The Good Samaritan” story which is a good thing, however because of familiarity we often missed the revelation or simplified the life-giving message that it carries.
A simple reading of the story tells you, do good things, even if “they” hate you. However today, in the day that many churches celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent, the Sunday where we acknowledge “Love” as one of the pillars of advent… On this Sunday, I tell you that while doing good is great, applying mercy over law is better than great!
Church, apply mercy over law…
WHEN EVERYTHING ELSE FAILS…
Apply mercy over law…
As the story goes, there is an expert in religious law that wanted to test Jesus. He asked the question… “What should I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25, NLT) To what Jesus replies, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
Have you ever considered how Jesus answer the catch-22 question from the expert in religious law? What does the law say… How do you read it?” As saying… You are testing me, let me test you. I know many find it annoying when people answer a question with a question… but in here the test is not knowledge but application. Jesus is saying to the expert of the law, it is not enough to know what the bible says, but what do you understand. How do you read it.
So the lawyer goes and quotes the law… the expert of the law, was a true expect, quoting both Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, which is fascinating because the expert on the law nails it with the answer, so much that Jesus says… “Right! Jesus told him, do this and you will live!”
However, the lawyer traying to justify himself, which is what he wanted to do from the beginning. Then goes on to say… “And who is my neighbor.” Which truly reveals the misjudgment of this so call expert of the law.
Much like this comic strip from peanuts… In here the peanuts friend, see snoopy, that good! They see that snoopy needs help, comfort, and company, that’s good! However at the end, their presence brings nothing… which comes to show you how you can know one thing, think the right thing, say they right now, but faith without works has no purpose.
To those that quote the bible, on this day of Love in Advent I will say… what the point to know about Jesus, to know about Jesus, to repeat about Jesus… if you fail to reflect and reveal the unselfish love of God in all that you do.
See, love isn’t only a feeling, feeling is a verb, a feeling that drive us to action.
So, apply mercy over law. The law will always find your shortcoming, but mercy will enlarge, build, sustain and prolong the kingdom of God here on earth.
Sometimes, you might be like Lucy, trying to between the lines. But you don’t need to be an expert to see and understand that the good Samaritan was a good story, not because he was a here, but because the good Samaritan apply mercy over the law.
On this morning of Christmas eve, I will say. Go do likewise!