The Good Samaritan
(From the book, Hearts of Flesh)
By Fred Pruitt
Jesus said, “Love your neighbor,” and someone in the crowd asked, “Well then, who is my neighbor?” He answered the question of “Who is my neighbor?” by telling what has come down to us as the story of the “Good Samaritan.” (Luke 10:26-37)
We have most often seen it as a moral tale. The focus is on the action of the Samaritan, an outcast in Jewish society at the time, who, unlike many good moral and religious people who passed him by, showed mercy toward a man who had been beaten and robbed, and then left to die by the side of the road. It is told as a story about how one should act if one is to be “Christ-like.”
But now we consider the wounded man himself.
Do we not realize that just as the Samaritan is Christ, the wounded man is also Christ?
Emmanuel has allowed himself to be disguised under dirt, blood, vomit, and excrement. In Man He has allowed Himself to be wounded, to be stripped of His heavenly raiment by robbers, to bleed naked on the side of the road, to stink, to be repellent and abhorrent to the sight of other men, so that they dare not dirty themselves by touching him and so pass by on the other side of the road.
“Insomuch as ye do unto the least of these my brethren, ye do it unto Me.” (Matt 25:40)
When He said that, He was not being figurative. He was stating something absolutely true. Jesus said, in no uncertain terms, that when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, quench the thirst of the parched, take in the stranger, visit the sick and those who are bound, or when we do not do those things, we do them — or do not do them — to Him. (Matt 25:31-40)
Therefore, the wounded man, beaten, robbed, disrobed and dying naked by the side of the road, is all of us, EVERYONE OF US, the masses of humanity, every man, woman and child who is living now, in the past or future — Germans, Poles, Russians, Czechs, Japanese, Chinese, Burmese, Arabian, Afghani, Pakistani, English, Iraqi, Persian, French, Italian, Koreans, Iranians, Laotians, Malaysians, Armenians, Turks, Kurds, Vietnamese, Haitians, Cubans, Mexicans, Africans, Romans, Greeks, Jews, Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims, Buddhists, Shintoists, Confucionists, Taoists, Republicans, Democrats, Nazis, Communists and Americans. And all of that swirling sea of hurting humanity is the wounded Christ, Christ whose heel has been bruised in bringing many sons to glory, Christ Who is the Man of Sorrows, who bears our iniquities in His own body hanging from a Cross, who takes us and our sufferings, hurts, pains, illnesses, and sins, all into Himself, not figuratively, but exactly, really, literally, feeling them, experiencing them, knowing them, being them. Our lives POUR into Him like a rushing river, and He receives them all into Himself, experiences every one of them, all the pains, every individual deep hurt, each stunning and heartbreaking disappointment, every overwhelming sadness of unbelievable injustice, all human tragedies of every shape, size, and kind.
It was not by some legal contract, as if the Father had said, “If you perform this act, I’ll forgive everybody and make everybody who believes a son of God.” No, it is by virtue of the fact that He IS ALL THAT WE ARE (Phil 2:5-8), by the will of the Father, and thereby is present and living in all the sorrows, hurts, iniquities, hatreds, violence and contradictions of his created sons. He is continually taking them into Himself by means of our lives, and then filling the whole of our earthly existence with Heaven. (If our eyes were open for but a moment’s glance, we would see it! “Awake thou that sleepest, and Christ shall give thee light!” [Eph 5:14]) O Lord, that our eyes may open and we would SEE! (2 Kings 6:15-17)
So it is then Christ as the Samaritan, Who finds Christ in the wounded man by the side of the road, Who binds up His Wounds and pays the price for His recovery. In both He bears the stink, the revulsion, the sorrow, and the healing. The Samaritan no doubt got the stench of the wounded man on him when he picked him up and took him to the inn. But no matter. It was Christ bearing Christ.
We bear the stench of the earthly. Oh, it is a good smell! It has the aroma of life to it. The smell of a farm. There is sweat, pain, sorrow and disappointment, as well as cool breezes in the summer, pleasures and joys, and dreams fulfilled.
Mother Teresa used to say that in the dying outcasts of Calcutta, who she took without question or regard of payment or budgetary concerns into her hospice, she saw the face of Jesus. She said it didn’t matter to her if they were Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, or none of the above. All she saw was Christ. They were the “least of these,” but she knew that they were the “brethren” of the Living Christ, and her ministrations to those poor were literal ministrations to the Living Christ.
One has to take off his theological eyeglasses to see the permeation and complete inundation of the Cross of Jesus throughout the whole world. “Let His Blood be on us and on our children,” cried those who crucified Him (Matt 27:25). And so it IS! When our eye is single, we see only Christ. (Matt 6:22). This is not merely doctrinal nor is it simply a theological position. It is a living SIGHT that seeing eyes see! SEE!!!!!!!
From then on we do not look for a Christ over there, or one over here. He is not “lo here or lo there.” (Luke 17:21). When we have discovered Him fully within us, He renews our sight so that regardless of whatever outward appearance we see, be it the self-will and rebellion of the devil or man, we see Christ above and within using the evil intended to turn it around on itself, and accomplish the purposes of God for redemption. There is nothing anywhere in any realm that does not accomplish the purposes of God. The devil and those who serve him are thwarted and defeated before they even start, whatever their intentions are. Whether on earth or in the spiritual realm. It is a defeated kingdom, and only worthy of spurning and ridicule!
To live in the world is to live Christ, which means we are whatever we need to be in order to reveal the Father to others. It means we are wounded, hurt and bleeding sometimes, and other times we pick up the hurt and bleeding and help them on their way.
Either way, we are Christ living. We are the Living Purpose of the Father, a mission of perfect love, which comes from no attainment on our part whatsoever except the grace-given contriteness of heart which says there is only One Will, and that is, “You O God!” By His grace and wisdom He has created us to be living expressions of Himself through no effort on our part to “become something” on our own, in a mystery of union of persons too deep for words.
Let us not debate it, argue over it, analyze it, but just live it. “To live is Christ.” So let us then live.
Excerpted from Hearts of Flesh.