Jesus answered the lawyer’s question, who was his neighbour, with the story we know as the Good Samaritan parable.
Good is a much-used word in the Bible to describe human attitudes and behaviour. It is not true, however, that the concept of being good is straightforward or simple. Saint Paul laments in Romans 7:19 that he cannot do the good he wants to do. And Lutherans know well Martin Luther’s early life struggle trying to be good enough to please God. A major tenet of our faith is that we are declared good before God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:24)
Jesus’ word to the lawyer and to us is to “Go and do likewise,” (verse 37) for all are our neighbours. A Japanese Christian named Kagawa further states, “I read in a book that a man named Christ went about doing good. How disconcerting it is to me that I am so easily satisfied just going about.”*
Jesus illustrated a life of goodness and compassion when describing the actions of the Samaritan. Jesus also teaches us to go about doing good.
O God, in this world so much in need of kind and good words, good attitudes and good actions, teach us all to look to Jesus' example and teachings and to go about doing good. Amen. EAM — EAM