"Light Bulb" The Parable of the Good Samaritan
One of my favorite children’s movies is “Despicable Me”; in the movie, Gru the main character receives a revelation and says “Light Bulb”. I laugh every time I watch the movie and hear the line. It makes me chuckle because I can relate to those moments. It is a revelatory moment, a moment when the main point or solution is found. We can all relate to moments in life when circumstances may seem overwhelming and at that moment we open our hearts and minds to God and find clarity. The “Light Bulb” moment hits us and perspective changes as hope and faith are strengthened.
In Luke 10:25-37 we find Jesus being confronted by an expert in law. This lawyer begins by asking Jesus the uncertified teacher how one would be able to inherit eternal life. Jesus’ response reaffirms the law, the stumped lawyer asks then “who is my neighbor?” Jesus then speaking to crowd of listeners tells this story of a Good Samaritan. With a crowd of predominantly Jewish listeners actively engaged in this story. The parable begins with a traveler walking down the road and being mugged and left for dead. The traveler was beaten and stripped of his clothing. This is an important point since those who would pass by him would not be able to identify him as a Samaritan, Gentile or Jew. The priest walked past the beaten man. Maybe perhaps he thought he was a sinner, gentile, or dead man. Touching him would cause him to defile himself in his service in the temple. The Levite then followed the priest; the Levites were to assist the priests in the temple, he stopped and maybe even spoke to the man but due to his inability to identify the man as a neighbor he walked past him. The Samaritan comes down the path and Jesus introduces him not only as the Samaritan but none the less a Good Samaritan. Samaritans were despised as half breeds that blended the worship of God with that of the pagans. Unlike the Priest and Levite the Samaritan had mercy on the beaten man. He helped him not because he was his neighbor but just because he was a man. The Samaritan picked him up, took him to an inn, cared for his wounds, gave him enough to stay in the inn for three weeks and then promised to pay for any additional costs.
So as the crowd was actively listening are confronted in their hearts and minds that “True Godly love is evidenced in how we love others.” It is not evidenced in all the activity and works we do, but simply by how we allow God to change us and use us. As followers of Jesus Christ if we submit to God’s word, surrender our will for His and sacrifice that which needs to be let go of, we can have those “Light Bulb” moments. The listeners in the crowd were given opportunity just as we are given today to receive the life saving and changing solution or reject it.