Every true believer has a desire to fulfill one of the most important commandments of Jesus Christ – “love your neighbor as yourself” – and to help those who are in need. But the problem is that many of us do not know how to help such people. Sometimes we don’t have enough knowledge and experience, and sometimes we just don’t have enough resources.
If we take, for example, the good Samaritan, we can see that in addition to pity, compassion and a desire to help, he also had the means, experience and a clear understanding of how to assist a person in need. He had a “transport” to take the wounded man to the hotel, he had medicine in the form of wine and oil, and he had enough money to pay for the hotel.
We also see that in addition to these resources he clearly had experience in helping the injured. He was not afraid to approach a bleeding man, he knew how to treat his wounds, and he could also foresee future events; he had everything thought out and acted as if according to a certain plan. For example, he knew which hotel to take the victim to, knew that the hotel owner would take good care of him, left money for the expenses and foresaw that the patient’s treatment and recovery could take a long time.
And now I would like us to put the main meaning of the parable aside and ask ourselves the following question: “Has it ever happened to us that we saw a person who was in a great need, we truly wanted to help him, our heart even ached for him, but we were completely at a loss, didn’t know what to do and didn’t take any specific steps?” We prayed for this person and with a heavy heart passed by the one who expected real help from us – just like the priest and the Levite did (James 2:15,16).
So what can we do so that next time we don’t feel at a loss and don’t pass the needy person by? Firstly, we can organize various seminars in our congregations and invite specialists who will tell us how to provide first aid to the poor, homeless, old people, drug addicts, alcoholics, victims of domestic and sexual violence, to people who are seriously depressed, and in general to all who suffer both in their soul and body. Today, praise God, we can find many such specialists in our circles, and they will gladly come, share their experience with us and teach us how to provide first aid to those in need.
It would also be very good if our congregations’ bulletin boards posted phone numbers of various humanitarian organizations, where each of us could get adequate help and advice.
And thirdly, it is very important that we remind each other as often as possible what “loving one’s neighbor” really is, that we stir up one another to good deeds and remember how important these deeds are to God, how they contribute to our spiritual growth and development (Isaiah 58: 6-12) and how many doors social and humanitarian projects can open for the preaching of the Gospel.