It’s very easy in life to point fingers at the other person and put the blame of the whole situation over his shoulders. But on the other hand very few dare to put their self in the shoes of the other person and experience the problems that they are facing and going through. Being a Good Samaritan necessarily comes with a price. It needs one to take out a lot of time and efforts and care. Our Lord in the parable of the Good Samaritan expounded clearly how the good Samaritan took care of that man who was beaten and left half dead on the roadside. We see the Good Samaritan binding up that man’s wounds, pouring in oil and wine over his wounds, setting him on his own beast, bringing him to an inn and taking care of him. Being a Good Samaritan is not advising someone of his wrong but it requires one to be walking through the path of his problem, all the while helping that someone carry himself his cross to the shoulders of Jesus. It’s very easy to run away from the situation with the impression that that wounded man will arise and bind up his own wounds and walk alone to the hospital for help. But that’s not what Christ instructed us in his Word. He says in 1st John 2:5 that a person who truly has known Christ, will have the love of God perfected in himself. Further in verse 9 and 10 he says that a person who abides in Christ will love his brother.
We see a very beautiful incident in the scriptures through the story of Elijah of how a Good Samaritan came to the rescue of a depressed and lonely Elijah. Elijah was really very depressed on hearing that Jezebel was out to kill him after that he had disproved the prophets of Baal and killed them. So out of fear, he ran into the wilderness seeking to save his life. Elijah, a man of God, a person who always depended on God for his every step, was here running away from someone who seemed to him to be much mightier than God at that moment. Elijah had forgotten that God was on his side and no one could harm him unless God permitted so. Elijah not only forgot God’s providence but also started grieving his complaints towards God. His complaint was that the children of Israel showed no signs of repentance and were out to kill him as they killed the other prophets of God. He claimed to have been very passionate towards God and have served him jealously. But instead of a good reward, only evil and difficulty surrounded him. He felt that God really didn’t love him much and wanted to question God about that. So he ran towards Mt. Horeb in search for God’s love and answers to his questions.
The journey to Mt. Horeb would take him 40 days and nights and it was around 400 miles distant. The journey indeed would be great for Elijah. With no food and water for 40 days and nights it would be really difficult for him to travel through alive. Also the terrain wasn’t an easy one. Mountains and valleys were on his way and the heat was unbearable out there. God saw Elijah even in this condition and instead of accusing Elijah of his faults and his unsteady faith, he sent his angels to strengthen him. They fed him with food and quenched his thirst. Not once did he send his angels but twice. He doubly strengthened him for his journey. And truly God is a faithful God who didn’t leave him but sought him out of his misery and showed him his love and reassured him that he was a God who really cared for him.
Here I want to emphasize the role of the angels. All that we read about the angels is that they came and touched him waking him out of his sleep and asked him to eat and drink warning him about the journey ahead. Being a Good Samaritan is playing the role of the angel out here. Firstly we see that the angels were sent by God with a purpose to strengthen Elijah in his time of trouble. A Good Samaritan should always realize that his ministry is initiated by God with a specific purpose in mind. Secondly, we see that the angels touched Elijah. Elijah was very weary at that moment and depressed. The touch of the angels would have provided him a feeling of warmth. A care that he longed for could be felt through that touch. It would have assured him that there is someone who knows and can feel the problems that he is going though. It is very important for a Good Samaritan to have this touch of an angel. It provides an emotional support and strength. It assures the weak that there is someone who is really caring for him. However, without this touch, you really can’t help your wounded brother. Thirdly we see the angels waking Elijah out of his sleep through that touch. A Good Samaritan’s touch should wake up the other person from his spiritual slumber. It should make him aware that his quest for seeking God’s love cannot be accomplished by a spiritual dearth. Fourthly we see that the angels provided him food to eat and water to drink. Waking one up from his spiritual slumber should always be followed by providing him spiritual manna to strengthen him. The dearth of his heart should be quenched through the holy manna of the Word of God. Fifthly we see the angels warning Elijah that the journey he is going to take is great. A Good Samaritan should always take care that the person he is catering to should be made aware of the road ahead. The path for Elijah was not an easy one as we saw earlier. It requires one to know thoroughly the problem through which the person is going through. It requires him to place himself in the shoes of the other person and walk with him that path. Warning him about the journey ahead is simply preparing him spiritually to face the problems in the wilderness.
Through all this we realize that some precautions should be taken. We see that the whole process is initiated by God and guided by God throughout. We see that the angels didn’t feed Elijah with food but let him feed himself. And lastly we see that Elijah, once he was prepared physically by the angels to undertake his journey, was left alone by them till he reached his goal and found his answers. Gearing up the weak spiritually is the main objective of a Good Samaritan. Finding his ‘God of love’ is a journey he has to undertake alone. The spiritual preparation should be good enough to last for those 40 days and nights in the harsh wilderness. That’s what the role of a Good Samaritan is.
Being a Good Samaritan is not advising someone of his wrong but it requires one to be walking through the path of his problem, all the while helping that someone carry himself his cross to the shoulders of Jesus.