Jesus was pressed with questions every where He traveled. Some of the questions were asked by the disciples for clarification to a sermon or teaching. Some were asked by seekers wanting to know who Jesus was and what they needed to do to gain the righteousness of Heaven that He exemplified. Others were religious leaders who were seeking to protect their hold on the people and asked questions that were intended to trap Jesus.
One such occasion in Luke’s Gospel, the religious irritators asked Jesus a question in response to His statement that we are to “love our neighbor”. Believing that they, the Jewish leaders, showed respect and honor to their “neighboring” Jewish leaders, they asked Jesus a question in hopes of forcing Him to commend them for loving their own kind. Jesus launched the parable of the Good Samaritan which spoke of Jewish leaders going around the poor victim of a beating. The hero of the story (as we know) was a hated, half-breed Samaritan who stopped to help the man, treat his wounds, get him to an inn for care, and pay for his stay and rehab there. That parable stung then. It stings now as we are forced to consider if we truly have loved the unlovable and those who cannot pay us back in kind.
Catherine Booth was the "mother" of the Salvation Army. "Wherever Catherine Booth went," said Campbell Morgan, "humanity went to hear her. Princes and peeresses merged with paupers and prostitutes."
One night, Morgan shared in a meeting with Mrs. Booth; and a great crowd of "publicans and sinners" was there. Her message brought many to Christ. After the meeting, Morgan and Mrs. Booth went to be entertained at a fine home; and the lady of the manor said, "My dear Mrs. Booth, that meeting was dreadful"
"What do you mean, dearie?" asked Mrs. Booth.
"Oh, when you were speaking, I was looking at those people opposite to me. Their faces were so terrible, many of them. I don't think I shall sleep tonight!"
"Why, dearie, don't you know them?" Mrs. Booth asked; and the hostess replied, "Certainly not!"
"Well, that is interesting," Mrs. Booth said. "I did not bring them with me from London; they are your neighbors!" (copied).
Dear God, Please open my eyes today to really see my community with your eyes. Slow me down in my various duties to hear the cry of a hurting person. Help me to be “on mission” as I run my errands to all of the various places that my paths today will take me. Let me discover the person that you wanted me to meet at the food store, Wal-Mart, the ball field, or that gathering after work with co-workers. You made me “salty” to create thirst for those who need Living Water. Take me where I need to go today so that I can engage my neighbor with the Gospel of Jesus and show them the love of God with which I am to love my neighbor!