“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
Takers, Shruggers and Givers
(Please read Acts 10:30-37)
Probably no parable of Jesus has seemed more timely in every century than this one, with its lesson that we should consider as our neighbors all people who need our help and compassion.
People involved in the parable show some very different characteristics. It seems likely that everybody fits, at least to some extent, into one of the types portrayed.
First, consider the robbers. They were takers – people willing to use illegal or wrongful measures to get what they wanted, without regard to the rights of others. Some other notable takers in the Bible were Judas Iscariot, the prodigal son and Simon the Sorcerer. From the latter two cases it is clear that a reformed taker can repent and be forgiven. So there is hope for them.
The next people on the scene in the parable were two “religious” fellows who carefully crossed to the other side of the road and avoided the poor victim altogether. They were the shruggers, people who were not touched by the victim’s plight, who didn’t want to get involved. Shruggers didn’t and don’t amount to much in God’s eyes.
But look at the hero of this parable, the Good Samaritan, a shining example of a giver, part of a biblical company including the poor widow who gave all she owned; the apostle Peter, who gave healing to a beggar in lieu of money Peter did not have; and the Macedonians who were noted for their generosity because they first gave themselves to the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 8:5).
The Lord is a giver. If you’re not, he stands ready today to help you change.