The Good Samaritan, Revisited

Once a wealthy African-American had to do business in Miami. After picking up his rental car at the airport, he began to drive downtown. However, as he had never been to Miami, he got lost, and stopped at a service station by the highway to ask for directions. Some young hoods saw that he was driving a rental car and realized that he was a businessman from out of town. They waylaid him as he was coming out of the service station, shot him five times, stole all of his credit cards and money, and then drove off in his car, leaving him to die beside an off-ramp of a busy freeway.

Many people in their cars on the freeway saw what happened, but drove away after having done nothing to help.

A Catholic priest saw the man, but told himself that it was not in his parish. Besides, the man probably was not even Catholic to begin with.

A mainline Protestant pastor did nothing, because he did not want to get his clothes dirty, and was afraid that one of his church members would see him helping the man, and criticize him for associating with the “undesirable elements” of the community.

A pastor of a liberal church made note of the man, but did nothing. He drove happily home, thrilled that he had found a new illustration for use in his anti-gun and anti-poverty crusades.

A Baptist minister drove by, threw an evangelistic tract out the window, and invited the man to church.

The pastor of the local independent faith assembly actually stopped and got out of his car, but only to tell the dying man that if he had just believed properly, none of this would have ever happened to begin with. Now, the man just need to make some positive confessions and believe that he had been made well, and the bleeding would stop and the man would be healed. As the pastor got back into his car, he shouted, “I’m believing for you, bro!”

The pastor of the local charismatic church got out of his car, stood over the man, and prayed, asking what God would have him do. Not hearing an answer, he got back into his car and drove away, feeling somehow that it must be God’s will for the man to die, or for someone else to stop and help.

Finally, a local lawyer showed up. This lawyer had several mistresses, was a drunk, and was about to be disbarred and then tried, convicted, and sent to prison for embezzling. However, as he drove by, all he could see was a man dying beside the road. He got out of his car and tended to the man, tearing up his own shirt to bind the wounds and stop the bleeding. As he was doing this, he called 911. He cradled the man’s head until the ambulance arrived. As they loaded the man up in the ambulance, he asked which hospital they were taking the man to, and then drove to the hospital to make sure that the man would be OK. Then, when the man’s condition was stabilized, he talked to him, got the name and phone number of his wife, and called her to inform her of the news and to tell her that her husband was all right.

In a world full of Christians, sometimes the unwashed and unsaved behave more like Christ than those who go by his name.

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