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The 'helping business'
October 31, 2011
by Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

When we experience pain in our body, we often will take medication in the form of a pill that is designed to alleviate our pain. Even though we do not understand how it works, soon the discomfort is alleviated as the medication “finds” the place of pain.

That is precisely how God “finds” the areas of our lives that need to be addressed, and He finds and addresses these areas by exposing us to His pillbox, His Word.

Years ago, in the time of Jesus, a lawyer, who was an expert in Bible knowledge, came to Jesus with a question concerning how he could be saved eternally. In response, Jesus said, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

“You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live,” was Jesus’ reply. (Luke 10:26-28)

The lawyer, wanting to bring something of himself to the forefront, then asked Jesus another question: “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus related a parable concerning a man who journeyed from Jerusalem to Jericho along a narrow, winding road, and while on that journey, he was attacked by robbers and left half dead. It is unclear what half dead means, but he was lying there naked, wounded, and unable to help himself.

The story tells us that three men came by, but neither of the first two stopped to help the man in his need. One was a priest, one was a Levite, and the last one was a Samaritan. Only the Samaritan stopped to help the man in his need, for he had compassion on him and helped him, and promised to continue to help him in the future.

Then Jesus asked another question: Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?

The lawyer replied: “He that showed mercy on him.”

Jesus said: “Go and do likewise.”

God is in the helping business.

A couple of years ago, I asked some of my grandchildren what their favorite Bible story was. The majority of them said that this particular story was their favorite. I asked them why it was so, and they replied, “Because God helps people.”

May we do likewise.