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The Paradox of Love

by Pastor Davis on February 09, 2014

Offertory by Elizabeth Davis & Brandon Glick

Special song by Lydia Miller

Title: The Paradox of Love: Life in a dangerous town

Text: Luke 10:25-37

This week our culture will observe a holiday of love called Valentine’s Day. This passage from our Lord’s ministry gives us a practical understanding of how love should be lived out in daily life to people around us regardless of race, background or nationality. Notice also that this is NOT a parable, but a story! It is possibly something our Lord witnessed or heard about in His interaction with people along the way. The story clarifies some of the real tensions that have existed in the church since its inception: Should the church exclusively focus on the spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith or should we exclusively focus on the practical side of meeting the physical needs of others, or should there be a balance of both? Notice with me:

 1. A real problem. The story tells the plight of a man who was minding his own business and he was beaten, robbed and left for dead along the side of the road. What a shame! This represents a real crime and a blot on any towns’ record. What are the problems in our town? Who is our neighbor in the Thomasville/Lexington area?

2. A missed opportunity. Two men had the opportunity to make a difference in the robbed man’s life that day… Because they were blinded by hypocrisy and false concepts about religion, they didn’t see an opportunity to serve God while showing mercy to this robbed man. How many missed opportunities do we pass up to show Christ to hurting people?

3. A true hero. The story takes a drastic turn of events! The last person you would ever expect to stop and actually help a robbed hurting Jewish man was a Samaritan!  While he had to overcome quite a bit of natural hatred for the Jewish race, he stooped to where this hurting man was and got his hands dirty, his wallet empty and his heart full.

4. A compelling command. At the end of the story, the lawyer is forced to admit that not the priest, nor the Levite, but the Samaritan was the one that showed mercy. It demonstrates that regardless of how dark society becomes, genuine practical compassion always shines through! How long has it been since you were a “good Samaritan” by tangibly showing mercy and love to your “neighbor”?