LOOK AGAIN: Peace and Goodwill Among Men Vol. 21 March 31, 2016
Perhaps what we call compassion is a spirit of peace and good will. In the biblical times of Jesus and long before his time, the Samaritans of the Middle East were considered to be impure Jews. They had a reputation of ignoring the Jewish Law and acting according to their own wills which, of course, were chaotic and unpredictable and, therefore, dangerous. In contrast, a Jew who had the Law in his heart was very predictable because his choices were already laid out for him in this Law and that was seen as righteous and trustworthy.
WHAT ABOUT THE TIMES GOD INTERVENES WITH A SURPRISE? WHO WILL BE AVAILABLE TO MOVE ACCORDING TO THE SURPRISING NEED? In this case of the victim on the side of the road, beaten almost to death and left with only his cry for help (Luke 10:30), who could best respond; the one who had rules to live by or the one who had a God of mercy to live with? Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it (Matt. 5-17). As the Samaritan was moved by compassion, we can see in this story that compassion was the fulfillment of the Law, the Spirit in which the Law was given way back in the book of Exodus, chapter 20. The Law outside of the Creator of the Law is bondage. The Law within its Creator is surprisingly freeing and fulfilling. And thus we have the story of the Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
On the night of Jesus’ birth the angels sang “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace among men of goodwill” (Luke 2:14). This was the message Adonai Eloheinu (the Lord is our God, Deuteronomy 6:4) sent to the shepherds, the lowliest of God’s people. This was the message Jesus lived by on a daily basis. Whatever He did, lifting up the broken, or setting down the proud, it was from a Spirit of peace and goodwill even from the cross and within the resurrection. In the midst of crisis a Spirit of peace and goodwill, what a miracle!! Is it any wonder that we thirst for His return!
Elsa Jane MARCH 14, 2016