Marked by Mercy: Jesus Calls You to more than Polite Hospitality

(Luke 10:36-37) Jesus' dramatic conclusion to the story of the Good Samaritan, a parable on what it means to be a true neighbor.

Man kneels next to a homeless man, sharing a meal and conversation with him.
Photo by Zac Durant / Unsplash

Yesterday, we saw the dramatic and costly love of the Samaritan who risked his financial security and reputation to help the beaten man.

Today’s daily dab offers the dramatic conclusion to Jesus’s parable when He turns to his listeners…

“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 (NIV)

Again, the expert in the law knew the right answer. By having him judge for himself what is right and loving, Jesus—the master Teacher—showed him the truth.

Like other parables, Jesus leaves the listener with an unresolved chorus: “Go and do likewise…” Like the rich young man in another story, we do not know what the expert in the law chose to do after Jesus’s command. The command is left lingering in the air.

Its unresolved chorus is for us who should have “eyes to see” to finish the song.

Jesus is telling us to “Go and do likewise.”

  • Who needs your mercy?
  • Who is the “other” in your life?
  • Who is injured, rejected, or scapegoated around you?
  • How can you stop the hurry of life, see them, and have mercy on them?

Block parties and barbecues are great, but they are not the measure of our neighborliness in the eyes of the King.

We can be hospitable but still “walk along the other side” and turn a blind eye to suffering and injustice.

Let us be those marked by love and mercy in a hurried, insulated world.

Lord, help me to see others as you see them. Open my heart wide to your mercy. You have rescued me from my deepest sins, and my debt is no longer to sin but to love. Lord, forgive me for my complacency, malice, and prejudice. Lead me in your truth so I can stand for your mercy.