Happy #ElevatedFriday! Today we highlight a modern example of the Good Samaritan in action. 21-year-old Brendan Flaherty has been surviving thanks to his dialysis machine for six years, desperately needing a kidney transplant. Finally, after no matching donors were found, Brendan’s friend Philip volunteered his kidney, but sadly he was not a match. Soon after, a woman named Kimberly Cooper happened to walk into the hospital to sign-up to be a kidney donor, and she was quickly matched with Brendan. Philip was then so inspired by Kimberly’s generosity that he decided to donate his kidney as well! As it happened, the woman who received Philip’s kidney had a daughter who was also inspired by Philip’s generosity, and decided to donate her kidney, too! This cascade effect of generosity continued until six strangers donated kidneys to six patients in need – all had been negative matches for their own loved ones, but were positive matches for others. It was truly an incredible display of love and compassion when all 12 of the people involved met this past week, showing that compassion spreads when we stretch it beyond our comfort levels.
Jesus is challenged by a law expert in the Book of Luke as to who our neighbors are and he responded with the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The familiar verses show exactly how we are to act towards people we come across who are in need -- no matter if that person is a friend, family member, or a complete stranger. What can be more inspiring than seeing Jesus’ work come alive on Earth? Today, consider how you can show more compassion to those that cross your path; as this parable shows, they are not crossing your path by accident.
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:29-37 NIV