The Robber, Religion and the Redeemer

May 31, 2015

You know, sometimes I think we put God in a box a bit too dignified. We get so caught up in our service to Him, we sometimes forget the true meaning behind it all.

We see this clearly in the story of the Good Samaritan. A man has been robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. (Sin will do that you know. It steals our character and our confidence before God . . . leaving us nothing but devastation.) Desperate for help, he sees two religious leaders approaching.

Perfect! I could only imagine the hope that must have ran through this man’s heart. Surely they would stop and help for they preach about it all the time. But to his surprise, they crossed on to the other side of the road. Most likely in a rush to go do “ministry”, and speak in a temple somewhere.

What a gut-wrenching truth that still runs prevalent in our society. Religiosity keeps us so busy with all that we feel called to do that we forget to leave margins in our lives for interruptions to hear the voice of the One who calls. If there is one thing I have found over years of ministry, true miracles and “God moments” tend to happen in the times we least expect them. They happen when we are interrupted and inconvenienced.

That is just what happened in this story. A Samaritan walks buy and decides that he is going to get in on the mess. Not only does he assist the man, he offers to take on his debt. Would you do that for someone else? Even a stranger?

Yet Christ, even while we were still sinners, did this very thing for us. He came down to our level, met us where we were at and continues today to offer us healing and freedom. The ultimate redeemer, He who owed nothing paid it all that we may be “debt-free” of our sin and live eternally with Him.

Though many people may not initially correlate the two, I see resounding similarities between this story and the one found in Luke 15 about the Prodigal Son. You see, the Father stooped to an undignified level. He took on shame in order that the sinful, but repentant, son could return home. Did the son deserve it? Absolutely not. But then again… neither do we.

I don’t know what is surrounding you today. You may have willfully stepped into sin, and it may have robbed you. Maybe you have strayed away intentionally and feel unworthy to try to start again. I want to remind you that you are accepted by the King of Kings, Christ Jesus, whether you are at your best or at you are at your worst. Not only does the Father offer freedom and redemption, but grace and infinite second chances.

I pray you find Him running towards you today.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you” – James 4:8