The Man with the Jumper Cables

Lou Lotz

Read: Luke 10:25-37

Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers? (v. 36)

It was a frigid, snowy evening. The road was slippery, the traffic was heavy. I spotted him up ahead at the side of the road, standing beside his car. The hood was open. He had a set of jumper cables in his hand, and as cars drove by he waved excitedly, jangling the jumper cables, a hopeful look on his face. I felt bad for the guy, but I was running late, and I was in my suit and dress shoes. There were plenty of other vehicles on the road. Surely, someone would stop and give the guy a jump. So I drove on. About a minute later it hit me like a snowball upside the head: The fellow with the jumper cables was the wounded, waylaid traveler in Jesus’ parable, and I was not the good Samaritan.

The Samaritan flips the implicit question asked by the priest and the Levite. Their question was: What will happen to me if I stop? The Samaritan asks: What will happen to him if I don’t stop? There is a lot of human need in this world, and you can’t do everything for everyone. But you can do something for someone.

“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” The lawyer knows the answer, and you and I know. “You go, and do likewise.” —Lou Lotz

Prayer: Lord, give me the eyes to see human need and the compassion to respond.