Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. (Luke 10:30)
The Victim’s Story
Jesus taught a powerful lesson to the lawyer trying to justify himself in Luke 10. The story of the good Samaritan has resonated throughout the ages as a powerful testimony of how one should care for others. Central to the story is the loving care of a man considered by the Jewish elite as nothing more than a mongrel dog. Clearly Jesus uses this man to bring a sobering lesson home to this certain lawyer. Often lost in the telling of the story is the main character making the story possible – the victim. It is a story but nonetheless application can be made of this man’s story.
A certain man had business in Jericho and he made his way out of Jerusalem with plans and intents for the next few days. Jericho was about eighteen miles from Jerusalem and the trip would first take him to Bethany and then on to the city. It was a dangerous journey with many bandits waiting for the right moment to descend on the unsuspecting traveler. So it was that thieves attacked this poor man taking everything he had. As was the common travail upon those disposed the man was beaten severely and left to die. The bandits did not stay to confirm his death but left in haste with their treacherous gain.
The sun beats down its radiant heat upon the bloody and mangled man. He swallows the dust of the road moaning in anguish. His body is broken. He is unable to move or whisper a cry of help. The wind whips the rocky soil around him as his mind races with searing pain throughout his body. He prays that someone will take pity on him. Footsteps. He hears faintly the movement of a person passing by. In his clouded mind he knows they will come to help. Terrified he hears the sound disappear as a priest of God quickly ignores the tattered man on the side of the road. His pain is almost unbearable with the broken bones and blood pouring from numerous wounds.
Lying on the side of the road he hears more footprints. They come close to where he is. Relief. Salvation. Help has arrived. To his tormented dismay he hears the sandals quickly running away. If he could only lift his head he would see another representative of God’s holy order leaving him by the side of the road. The Levite rushes away. Why will no one help him? He is in so much agony and no one will help him. Time goes by and hope seems to disappear.
He hears footsteps again but he knows they will pass by. He cries with tears of despair knowing death will be his only relief. The footsteps come closer and then he feels a hand and then two hands. He is turned on his back and he hears mumbled words of a man. In a moment a cool feeling of relief comes as oil and wine are poured on his wounds and bandages applied. Then he feels two strong arms helping him up and placing him on an animal. They begin to move down the road. How much time passes he knows not.
He feels the animal stop and those strong arms lifting him into an inn where he is laid on a bed. All night he wearies with fever and pain and suffering. But there is the presence of a compassionate hand that tends to him as morning dawns. He cannot hear everything the innkeeper is being told but he thinks he understands someone to say they will return to look after him. Before slipping off into a peaceful slumber he hears money being exchanged.
The next few days are difficult but he recovers slowly from his wounds. Strength is regained in his body and he sits up in bed knowing all things will be well. A knock at the door. A man enters. He is a Samaritan. This is the man who saved his life. How can he ever repay him? A man rejected by a nation but accepted by God because of his heart of love is his benefactor.
Have you heard this story before? No the real story. The one you have not heard. There is the story of you and me traveling down the road of life and the devil comes and removes all hope from us and leaves us on the side of the road nearly dead. No one cares enough to save us and bring us back from death. One day a man rejected by His own people comes along and because of His compassion binds up my wounds and carries me to a place of rest. I see in my wounds blood but not my blood. It seems the blood of this rejected man is what is healing my body. He promises to take care of me and pays the cost for my healing. The man who saved me on that day was Jesus Christ. How can I repay Him? I cannot. But all I can do is to tell others how THIS MAN SAVED ME FROM DEATH! Thank you Jesus.
Jesus is the Divine Physician and Pharmacist and His prescriptions are never out of balance. (Vance Havner)