“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
A certain white woman went down from Fort Scott, Kansas to Joplin, Missouri, and ran over a nail which punctured her tire and left her stranded by the side of the road. After raising the hood of her car and tying a scarf to her radio antenna, she locked the door handles and sat in the car, praying for the Lord to send help.
By chance, there came a limousine that way with a bumper sticker that read, “Smile, God Loves You!” When the white occupants saw the stranded woman, they passed by in the far lane-without smiling.
And likewise, there came a sports car with a bumper sticker saying, “Honk If You Love Jesus!” The white man who was driving passed by in the far lane without honking and without using his cell phone to call the Highway Patrol about the woman’s dilemma.
But a certain black working man, as he traveled to his job, came to the spot where the woman was, and, when he saw her raised hood, scarf, and flat tire, he had compassion on her. He stopped his old beat-up pickup-which had no bumper sticker-and crossed the highway and offered to change the flat.
The white woman was anxious at the stranger’s presence, but she rolled her window down just a crack and gave him the key to the trunk. The black man took out the spare tire, jacked up the car, removed the flat, and replaced it with the spare. When he finished, the woman tried to pay him. He refused the money, saying, “If my wife were stranded on the highway with a flat tire, I’d want some Good Samaritan to stop and help her out.” The man nodded his head and returned to his bumper sticker-less truck. As he drove away, he smiled and waved at the woman.
Which of these three was neighbor unto her who had a flat tire?
The senseless murder of George Floyd has brought the issue of race relations back into the national spotlight. Let’s be clear, every person of good conscience should be angered over Floyd’s death. So too, should every person of good conscience be angered over the violence, rioting, and loss of lives that have plagued our nation since Floyd’s homicide. How does creating more victims help those who have been victimized?
Perhaps it is time for Americans of all skin colors to remember that the Lord Jesus Christ died for the world and whosoever – whatever their race – believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Red, brown, yellow, black, and white, ALL are precious in His sight.
The point is: Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves. When He said that, a self-righteous man asked, “Who is my neighbor?” To answer his question, Jesus told a story about a Samaritan who helped a Jew. Then He asked, “Who was the man’s neighbor?” The self-righteous man answered, “He that showed mercy on him.”
Why don’t we all go and do likewise?
James Collins is the senior pastor of Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. Follow him on Twitter @collins_point, Facebook James Collins “The Point Is,” or from the website thepointis.net.