[Jesus said to the lawyer] “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 [The Lawyer] said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Seth Gehrke led our staff devotions today and invited us to imagine how the message of Jesus might have impacted the lawyer who asked Jesus the question, “Who is my neighbor?” We don’t know what happened. There is not even a hint of his reaction to Jesus’ command, “Go and do likewise.” You can check out the story here (Luke 10:25-37). (It might be good to do so even if you think you know it already.)
What if the lawyer had been touched by Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan? Put this into the modern day context and imagine what the impact would be. We shared some thoughts, some possible changes in behavior of a modern-day lawyer who was moved by Jesus’ teachings to show mercy.
It was a delightful exercise to consider how someone’s life might be changed by the message of Jesus: The lawyer we imagined…
- Takes the case of the woman whose husband has left her and charges her no fee.
- Gives his receptionist time off to care for her aging mother and doesn’t dock her pay.
- Doesn’t lose his temper when someone cuts him off in traffic, and arrives home in a better mood. He is easier to live with at home.
- Sleeps better at night in the peace that a life of mercy brings.
- Mentors a young and struggling intern and helps him prepare for the Bar exam even though he loses some billable hours by doing so.
- Tells his partners about his new way of looking at things and shares the way Jesus’ teaching has impacted his life.
- Abandons some secret addictions and finds grace for himself and others.
It makes me think of ways in which my own personal mercy quotient might be raised if I take Jesus’ teachings more seriously. We don’t know what happened to the lawyer in this case. But we do know people who have taken Jesus’ words to heart. She is the kind and merciful friend who cleans your house and leaves dinner for your family when you’re sick. He’s the co-worker who is willing to donate his vacation days to a friend who is battling cancer.
What showing-mercy ideas does this trigger in your mind?