Go And Do Likewise

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'Won't you be my neighbor?' photo (c) 2009, Johnny Ainsworth - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/It’s at the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan that these words are spoken by Jesus.

Go and do likewise.

Earlier the man speaking with Jesus asked who his neighbor was. In my Bible it says that he wanted to justify himself. And when I read that, ugh, I totally get it.

But, Jesus, this guy drives me crazy. This guy is hurtful. This girl is just not someone who I want to deal with. But, Jesus, I don’t even know her.

I can come up with 100 different excuses every time. But what it boils down to is that Jesus said to love our neighbor as ourselves, and then he said that it was the Samaritan who was his this stranger’s neighbor. Why?

Because he had mercy on him.

Go and do likewise.

As I was sitting with my friend who has been in the hospital for a couple of weeks, and will probably be for a couple more at least, we were talking about all the stuff that was coming up because of this scripture making itself present in my life over and over and over again.

What is becoming more and more prevalent to me is it’s not whether I go and do and see the people who are hurting. I can go and be a warm body all day. Just being there with and for people along their journey, though, isn’t enough. I can be in a place and not really be there all at the same time.

What I need to work on is the condition of my heart.

I find myself a lot of times just doing something because it’s what I should be doing. But what I really want to learn is how to love my neighbor — even the ones that drive me crazy or the ones I don’t know — as much as I love myself.

Would I live the way I live now if that were the case? Would I spend money on the things that I now spend money one if I truly loved people as I loved myself?

I don’t know. Because unfortunately I’m just not there yet. I still find this selfish root that comes up when I’m least expecting it. And no matter how much I try to cut it off, it still remains.

I guess that’s why love isn’t always easy. I think for me it’s going to be a daily or hourly choice. It’s not going to be my first instinct. But love and mercy are worth it…even if it is hard.

So this week I’m going to remember some of my favorite words that Jesus said.

Go and do likewise.

These four words have changed the world and will continue if we actually take hold of them and do it. For me that means working on my heart. For you it may me something else. But I think it’s worth working on.

Jesus wouldn’t have said it if He didn’t mean for us to do it.

So go and do likewise.

About the author

  • I find myself longing to take the words of Jesus as absolute truth. It’s so easy for me to make all the excuses in the world of why I shouldn’t love someone/invite them to my house/be-friend them, but if I call myself a Christ Follower, then why am I not doing what He said? I’m returning to the scriptures more and more asking, “What did He really say?” because even on the christian radio, it seems that they will follow a book more than scripture itself.

    I’m with you girl. I’m praying for you too. Blessings!

    • Thank you, Judy! Following a book is a heckuva lot easier than following the Bible for sure. Praying for you, too, my friend!

  • I think those words will be echoing through my head this week. Thank you.

    • You need to read Undaunted by Christine Caine. It will rock you.