Be A ‘Doing’ Christian
MANY Christians and Bible scholars appreciate the soaring beauty, simplicity and spiritual insight of the Biblical parable, ‘The Good Samaritan’, related by Christ Jesus to a certain lawyer in Luke 10:25-37. Jesus related this parable to the lawyer, who had asked him what he needed to do in order to have eternal life. Jesus aptly told him to do what his profession, the law, said he should do. Being versed in the law, the lawyer was quick to point out the requirement of the law, which he said was loving God and loving neighbours as the prerequisite for gaining eternal life.
Jesus approved the answer, but perhaps, because lawyers, by their profession, are wont to be argumentative, the man insisted that Jesus define who a neighbour is; ergo the parable of the Good Samaritan. Briefly, here is the parable. A man had been severely attacked by robbers on a road, and left for dead. Three men, at different intervals, passed along the road where the man lay in extreme distress and urgent need. Of the three, only a looked-down-upon Samaritan had enough charity and Christian affection to not only be compassionate, but also actually do something about it. He took care of the man at his own expense – tending his wounds and taking him to hospital. Whereas the first two passersby – a lofty priest and a pious Levite — minded their own business, the lowly man of Samaria loved practically.
This is the Christly standard of loving our neighbour. It expresses God, Whom the Bible says in 1 John 4:8, is Love itself. Understanding God as Love, and putting this understanding into practice, Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science Church, writes in Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, that it unifies men and nations, ends wars, and enables man love his neighbour as himself. Indeed, another practical effect of understanding God as Love is healing.
Eddy echoes somewhat Jesus’ sentiment, which the parable of The Good Samaritan teaches, thus: ‘The tender word and Christian encouragement of an invalid, pitiful patience with his fears and the removal of them, are better than hecatombs of gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches and the doling of arguments’ [ibid].
She calls on Christians to shun mere parodies of love and express love practically, to all.
After recounting the deeds of the Samaritan in the parable, Christ Jesus gave the lawyer specific instruction how to love practically, in these words: ‘Go and do likewise.’ So, for us today, whatever the situation, whenever the occasion, however the circumstance, whoever the ‘neighbour’; let us be a ‘doing’ Christian.
Moji Anjorin Solanke,
Christian Science Media Representative for Nigeria (@CSCOM_NigWest)