But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. (Luke 10:33)
The Samaritan is considered “good” because of all he did for the anonymous victim who was attacked and left to die on the road to Jericho. However, I’d never stopped to consider the one small phrase between the commas above – “as he traveled.”
You see, the Samaritan wasn’t just sitting by the side of the road waiting for these events to occur so that he could step in and help. No, he was traveling about that fateful day with plans of his own. Plans that were about to get interrupted.
An important part of the “good” this man did included what he gave up in order to attend to the need of another. He didn’t consider his daily plans sacred – he considered the welfare of his fellow man sacred instead. Not only was that first day inconvenienced for the Samaritan, but so was the next day (when he initially paid the inn keeper) and a third day when he came back to settle the final account (v.35).
Plans for three days were rearranged out of care and concern for a stranger. Part of what makes the story so powerful is the fact that the Samaritan did not seem inconvenienced by inconvenience.
What about you? Are your plans too sacred to be sacrificed? –Dave
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