LOOK AGAIN: Is God Generous? July 17, 2013
The “Living Word” is an adventure waiting to happen every time we pick up the Bible. I was reading a parable in the Gospels on Sunday, the story of the workers coming at different times to work in the vineyard and receiving the same payment at the end of the day (Matt. 20: 1-16). I was deeply moved by the generosity of the owner of the vineyard and his reference to his free will to determine outcomes as he sees fit.
It causes me to look again at the parable of the Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Is God’s generosity demonstrated here? Is He the one determining what goodness will be in this situation? The story says that the Samaritan was moved by compassion. To a man on the Jericho Road in those days compassion would have been a generous response considering it was always a risk of robbery and even death to travel this way with anything of value. To stop and aid another who had already encountered the risks was even more risky. Others chose a more rational response, to walk on by. In Africa, it is common for a robber to lie in the road as if hurt, while his fellow robbers hide in the bush. When someone stops to give aid, the robbers jump the rescuer and beat and rob him. So even today in some parts of the world it would be more rational to move on by.
What kind of compassion filled the Samaritan that day on the Jericho Road? Was it compassion so rare that it overcame certain great fear of possible circumstances? Was it compassion greater than any human compassion, one so great that it filled the Samaritan with courage enough to stop, minister to his needs, continue to minister in the days ahead no matter the cost, and offer to pay more if there was more required. Indeed, such generosity is of the highest order. Would you say, as I do, that the generosity of the Lord God is at work here? Perhaps God’s attribute of generosity is far beyond our rational explanation. And that is such a great blessing to experience in this life. Surely the Samaritan knew God’s peace in the midst of great risk. The generous nature of God is present in every action He takes even in the midst of sin, ignorance and loss.
Long-time Samaritan volunteer and traveler, Elsa Jane Weislogel is inspired to write a “Look Again” blog regularly to encourage Samaritans along the way on the road.