“Go, and do likewise.”
Are you a good, law abiding citizen? You would probably say so. The police don’t show up at your front door, your taxes get paid and you manage to find the voting booth. Oh, you might exceed the speed limit now and then or grouse about the neighbors but who doesn’t? All in all, you manage to stay within the confines of legality and are no threat to law and order.
When it comes to the law most of us play defense. We stay safely behind the prescribed fences, not unlike those who walked by the poor fellow in the parable of the Good Samaritan. He had been badly beaten and left for dead. The two men who passed him by did so for perfectly acceptable legal reasons. No one would have faulted them. To have touched this man would have made them ritually unclean.
In pressing His point Jesus tells His disciples that a Samaritan (the Jews and Samaritans hated each other) was also passing by, saw the injured man and had compassion on him. Jesus then asked, “Which of these three was a neighbor to the man that fell among the robbers? The one who had mercy on him. Go, and do likewise.”
The Samaritan did not keep the law, he fulfilled the law. The difference is huge. Those who seek to fulfill the law play offense, not defense. They actively seek the welfare, the good of the neighbor. They live way beyond the law in the realm of love, the realm of mercy, without any kind of pride, where there is nothing to fear. All of a sudden, being a law abiding citizen doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it.
Faith in Christ brings real freedom. That means we are free FOR something. And that something is love. Christians are ‘free range’ lovers, wandering through the world looking for any excuse to pour love and mercy all over everything. When our Lord Jesus says, “Go, and do likewise”, He is turning loose on a world of law keepers, a horde of law fulfillers whose aim is reckless, extravagant love – without borders. Nobody should be allowed to have this much fun!
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.“