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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"First Down, then Up"

January 22, 2005

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Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Our Lord used a correct expression in saying at the beginning of His parable of the Good Samaritan: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho” (Luke 10:30). Jerusalem is 2,400 feet above sea level, while Jericho is 825 feet below sea level – a descent of nearly two thirds of a mile.

The man of Jesus’ parable went down in another sense: “He fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead” (Luke 10:30). The priest and the Levite who passed that way let him stay down.

But the Good Samaritan raised him up and ministered to him. He took the victim to the inn, cared for him for a day, and then engaged the innkeeper to attend him during the rest of his convalescence.

The man who was down came up again because somebody cared, somebody had compassion, somebody considered even a hostile racist to be his neighbor. And that is the point in the parable. “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) the scribe had asked. The reply of Jesus showed that it is anyone who is in need of our help.

Thank God, Jesus Christ was no respecter of persons. He disregarded race, color, social status, even moral self-achievement. While we were yet sinners – all of us – He died for us. We were all down, but now we are up. We are all one in Christ Jesus.

Let us then be up and doing. The mother of James and John asked Jesus whether her sons could sit on seats of honor in His kingdom. Yes, there is a time to sit and listen to Jesus’ words, as did Mary of Bethany. All the while, whether we sit or stand, we remain up in our Christian living so that we may walk in God’s ways and render service where it is needed.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God, for granting me the upward look of faith in Christ Jesus. Help me to be willing to reach out to the fallen. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)

Today's Bible Readings: Job 34-35    Matthew 14:22-36

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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