Have you ever heard the saying…”He is so heavenly focused that he is no earthly good”?
I think this saying could mean several things. It could read, “He/she is so self-righteous that he/she is no earthly good.” This could be said of the priest and the Levite in the “Parable of the Good Samaritan.”
When you read the story carefully without glazing over some very important words, you see the importance of phrases found in Luke 10:29 when the priest is asking Jesus a question. “But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?'” Justify means the need to be validated or RIGHT. Neither the priest nor the Levite wanted to make themselves “unclean” by association with the Samaritan. “What would people say or think?”
What does that priest or Levite look like today? It could look like those who profess a relationship with Jesus, especially those who are in ministry and enjoy “religious reputations.” Or those who feel superior and a need to protect their image. The modern day priest or Levite would be worried about what “people” would say if they associated with someone considered to be “unclean”. Today that might mean someone who is known to drink too much, an addict, a gossiper, or someone who may have committed fraud.
We learn from JESUS which of the three on that road from Jerusalem to Jericho got it right, the “Samaritan”. The one who showed “compassion”. The one who could have cared less about the difference that existed between them. Didn’t matter what they believed or who would see him or what others would think and say. I Corinthians 3:18-19 addresses the wisdom of this age. “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness.’”
COMPASSION…FOR THE WOUNDED…directed the heart of the Samaritan…not his desire to “PROTECT” his reputation.
Loving your neighbor as yourself is the humble realization that just because the “temptation/sin” that some struggle with is not the “temptation/sin” you struggle with…doesn’t make YOU ANY BETTER, even if you are in ministry. NO man is elevated above another in God’s sight.
WE ARE ALL SINNERS SAVED BY GRACE.
The only reputation we should be concerned about is HOW we TREAT OTHERS as a representation of JESUS to them. IF we profess to KNOW JESUS, no matter how close we are to JESUS we are NOT JESUS. WE are NOT GOD and never ever should we put ourselves in an elevated view of ourselves just because of our position. The day our title keeps us from associating with the sinner is the day we have elevated ourselves to a position….that is not ours.
Romans 12:3 tells us, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
Luke 10:36, “‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise!'”
I encourage you and I encourage myself, go and do some “earthly” good today. The kind of good that brings glory to God and points people to Jesus.