By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

The Good Samaritan, by Vincent Van Gogh

The Good Samaritan, by Vincent Van Gogh

“But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” (Luke 10:13,14)

My experience the past few days is unlike that of the traveler who was beaten and robbed and left by the road to die. I chose to have knee replacement surgery with the hope and confidence that I would be able to walk better and have less pain and discomfort. So the surgery was performed last Friday at the UCLA Orthopedic Hospital in Santa Monica. I was released Monday afternoon to return home. At times, the pain has been considerable. I am dependent upon a walker to get around—in fact, I have been just plain dependent on the doctor and his assistants and upon my wife and son and daughter. I guess that I expected good treatment—but I was overwhelmed by the kindness, thoughtfulness, helpfulness, and consideration that I received.

What I am saying is—that there was something more than these people just doing their job. They were always ready to go out of the way to be of help. When I asked for help getting in and out of bed, or something to wash with—there was no sense that I was imposing on these people. They were thoughtful, generous with their time, and in amazingly good spirits. So what has been, in some respects, a tough physical experience—has become an immeasurable blessing! The medical people and my family were going above and beyond the call of duty. I could not help but think of Jesus and his disciples, who brought healing to many people along with encouragement and hope.

The words mercy and kindness are found many times in the Bible. The Good Samaritan was a wonderful example of those qualities. Especially, if we believe in Jesus as our Savior, we are called upon to be kind and merciful and helpful. When we go out of our way to help someone else, we are being faithful to the teachings of scripture. Kindness begets kindness.

Micah 6:8, “He has showed you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Ephesians 4:32, “and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

I Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient and kind;” Colossians 3:12, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,”

What about those who are kind to us? We should be appreciative, commend them, encourage them. And we should be grateful to God, for it is our God that teaches us to do good rather than evil, to help rather than to hurt, to care for those who are in need. Where would we be without the example and teachings of our Savior? It is from our God that we are encouraged in consideration, thoughtfulness, goodness, honesty, righteousness, and justice.

“The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.” (Revelation 22:17)

Foster H. Shannon
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Thank you.

More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.