But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion… – LUKE 10:33
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus tells of a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. I’ve been on that road, and I can tell you that it is downhill all the way. The distance between Jerusalem and Jericho is 17 miles… and the drop in elevation
is 3900 feet. It was (and is) an easy walk downhill, but a dangerous road. Robbers would hide in the rocky crags. No one traveled it alone if they could help it. But this man did. Also the Jericho Road was the route from worship (at the temple in Jerusalem) to the world. Jericho was a place of trade, of commerce…of daily existence.
You may have never traveled to the Holy Land, but I can tell you this: the Jericho Road runs right through your life. You go to Jerusalem—church—and then you go home to Jericho. For some it may even be close to a 17 mile drive. But in that 17 miles (or whatever the distance is) you and I can become as blind as the priest and as hardened as the Levite. We can go past people who are hurting and never look twice. We can close our eyes to the pain and suffering and lost-ness and heartache of our world while we hum our favorite hymn. And many times, we do just that because the Jericho road can break your heart. It can tug at your heart until you feel compassion…and then what? It might require that we love our neighbor. You see, a right relationship with Jesus Christ should overflow to those around us, especially on the Jericho Road.