Luke 10:25-27 KJV reads:
- “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; AND THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.
- And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
- And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain PRIEST that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a LEVITE, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
- But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he HAD COMPASSION ON HIM, And WENT TO HIM, and BOUND UP HIS WOUNDS, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and TOOK CARE OF HIM. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
- Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed MERCY on him. Then said Jesus unto him, GO, AND DO THOU LIKEWISE.”
Now the Jews were God’s chosen people and those with whom he had covenant. Interestingly, unlike the Samaritan who was considered from the Old Testament days to be an outcast to the Jews, the Priest and the Levite were brothers spiritually to the man who was wounded, as like them, he too was a Jew. He had been accosted on his way from Jerusalem, a place in Israel. Also, although the Priest and the Levite held positions as Jews that meant that they were versed in their knowledge of the law and in particular, the command to love their neighbour as themselves, when the time came for this love to be demonstrated, when it was most needed, they passed on the other side.
By analogy, I’ve been thinking: Like the man who went to Jericho, there are some wounded soldiers in the body of Christ. They’ve been through all sorts of trials, hurt and pain and life has left them feeling lonely, gasping for air and half-dead.
It is easy to say that it serves them right, that they should have never started the journey to Jericho and that you would have never made such a poor choice. Yet, while they certainly should have never ventured down that road and many of them have sorrowfully regretted it, you do not know what may have predisposed them to doing it.
Now is not the time to say that they should have never gone down to Jericho in the first place. The fact is, they did and life has dealt them some serious blows on the journey. In retrospect, they agree with you. Deciding to go to Jericho was a bad choice.
By the grace of God though, they are still alive and want badly to recover, to return to Jerusalem. As they lay in their despondency, every cry of their heart and lips with the little strength they have left is to God, for his MERCY and restoration.
They want and need to be healed badly and are in dire need of love, support, prayer, encouragement and strength, on that long road to restoration. They need you to help them pull through because even as they fight to live, the enemy of their soul fights relentlessly, trying to break their will to survive, telling them that it’s no use and that they will die on this lonely road of futility. He tries to hammer this into their psyche by virtue of the severity of the blows they have received at the hands of his minions.
Some of these people have been through battles of such a nature and for so long, that you would never even dream off. You know they were journeying to Jericho but you may not know all the reasons why this was so or why, in a lapse of judgment, they thought at the time, that they needed to go there.
Having been seriously wounded in the process and fighting against the earthly odds to survive, they don’t need your condescension, scorn and rejection, to add to their already wounded state. They don’t need you to stare at them disdainfully, indifferently or coldly at a distance.
Of a truth, some of them have been fighting serious battles against the enemy of their soul from as early as their childhood. For, the enemy figured this was a good time to attack and to sow some destructive seeds because they were too young to defend themselves.
You know something of the wounds inflicted on the way to Jericho but you don’t know the story of the sharp cuts they received in the years preceding, the deep-seated wounds that left troublesome scars which followed them into their adolescence and then as an adult, scars which only God could remove or re-purpose for good. Some have been constantly ridiculed at school, bullied, regularly beat up by other children, made to feel of no worth whatsoever, suffered emotional neglect and seriously damaging psychological, verbal, physical and sexual abuse, at the hands of those commissioned by the enemy, to try to mess up their life story.
I should know, as all of the above was MY story.
I say all of the above to say, that on the whole, life has left some people feeling half-dead and you must make the choice: To walk by on the other side proudly (because you haven’t been through half the hell they have been through) or to show them MERCY, find out where they are hurting, lend a hand, attend to their wounds and help them up again.
Thankfully, the healing of wounded Christian soldiers who cry out to the Lord in their pain is not contingent on man. Even where all forsake them, God, the one who knows their entire story is able to bind up their wounds with oil and wine and to heal them in all the places where they have been injured. The oil represents his Holy Spirit which indwells them and the wine is indicative of the blood of Jesus Christ.
In Jeremiah 30:10, 12-18, the children of Israel and Judah had ended up in a place where they were badly wounded due to wrong choices made in life and practically left for dead. Yet, although God saw to it that they were punished for their sin, in his MERCY and in his love, he did not plan to just leave them there. He told them through his Prophet:
- “ …fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid…For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.
- Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey. For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.
- Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.”
Once they were healed and restored, in anticipation of the praise and gratitude that would flow from the heart and lips of these very people who were once so grievously wounded and how he would lavish his love and protection on them, God continued in verses 19-20:
- “And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.”
(Written on 12th May, 2020)