ODJ: Red Houses

July 26, 2016 

READ: Luke 10:25-37  

A despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him (v.33).

An organisation in South Africa began a compassionate project many years ago. The group buys houses in impoverished areas and paints them red. They then hire house parents who live in the red houses, providing beacons of light to the troubled communities. Over the years, these houses have become havens for children at risk and other hurting people in need of a safe place, a hot meal, a listening ear and a warm hug.

Jesus once told a story to an expert in religious law who was trying to trick Him. The religious leader had asked Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life (Luke 10:25). Jesus told him that he should follow the law of Moses: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ ” (vv.26-27). When the man asked who his neighbour was, Jesus told him the following story.

A Jewish man travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by bandits and left for dead (v.30). When a priest saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road. A temple assistant noticed him, but he too crossed to the other side. Then, a “despised” Samaritan saw the man and felt compassion for him. He put the man on his donkey and took him to an inn, where he cared for him. The next day the Samaritan handed the innkeeper two silver coins and told him to look after the injured man (v.35).

Jesus asked the religious inquirer who had been a true neighbour to the hurting man. “The one who showed him mercy” (v.37), he said. Like that compassionate Samaritan, may we also let God’s love guide us as we care for the poor and hurting of this world.

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan: Matthew 18:10-22

Read Luke 6:27-36 and be challenged by Jesus to love even those who aren’t loving to us. 
What has God given you—time, finances, ability—that you can use to help someone in need today? How has He compassionately met your needs?