Before you begin, take a few moments to quiet your mind and prepare your heart to receive God’s Word. Read the following passage at least twice, and then pray through the points below.
23 Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” 25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 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.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
The lawyer in Luke 10 asks Jesus who his neighbor is, and Jesus answers with a parable about a Samaritan who crossed cultural and religious boundaries to show mercy to a Jewish man. Take a few moments to reflect on Jesus's response to the lawyer's question. Why did Jesus answer this way? Pray for God to open your heart to cross any boundaries that may be keeping you from showing mercy to your neighbor from among the nations.
Pray that God would open the hearts of our church to cross radical boundaries and minister to people groups among all nations. Ask Him to destroy prejudices, indifference, apathy, hatred, and any other evil thing in or among us that would keep us from taking the gospel to all people.
We have all been called to go and show mercy. Pray that we will be a church and a cooperative of churches known for our mercy, and that those who go out from among us will demonstrate the kind of mercy that breaks down barriers and brings many to know Jesus Christ as Lord.