"Go and Do": Love in Action

     Jesus provides us with an explanation of what it means to love your neighbor in Luke 10 with the parable of the Good Samaritan. After finishing the parable, in Luke 10:37, Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.” How do I love my neighbor? Go and do as the Samaritan did.      

     Love involves giving. In Luke 10:34-35, the Samaritan gave of his time, his energy, his resources, and his money. Selfishness stops us from giving our time, energy, resources, and money to others. He could have kept a tab and expected repayment. The Samaritan gave freely because he loved his neighbor. 

     Love includes being inconvenienced. Although we are not told where, the Samaritan was heading somewhere. Whatever his plans were, he put his plans on hold in order to help a stranger. He arrived at his destination later than he planned. Perhaps he had to cancel certain plans. The Samaritan accepted the inconvenience because he loved his neighbor. 

     Love acts in the best interests of others. The Good Samaritan’s actions benefited his neighbor. This is what love is all about - wanting the best for others. In this situation, I am sure the stranger was grateful for the Samaritan’s love! Unfortunately for us, people are not always grateful when we act in their best interest. Acting in a person’s best interest demands we are concerned for their soul. Sometimes this includes telling a person something they do not want to hear. We need to be like the Samaritan, who acted in the best interest of a stranger because he loved his neighbor.

     Love is to be offered unconditionally. The man the Samaritan helped did nothing to “deserve” the Samaritan’s care. The Samaritan teaches us that people should not have to qualify to earn our love. In the same way, Romans 5:8 tells us, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The Samaritan helped this man who did not “deserve” to be helped, because he simply loved his neighbor.

     Love is not an option for Christians. It is not a one-and-done kind of thing. This is how we are to live every day for the rest of our lives. James 2:8 calls love “the royal law.” The Good Samaritan provides an exceptional example of how we are to love one another. Let us go and do likewise.