Friday, November 04, 2011

How Generous Will I Be

The good Samaritan's charity presents the innkeeper with a choice.

Luke 10:34-35  Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.

35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

My previous post was the parable of the good Samaritan, we looked at the story the way that it has always been viewed with the focus on the Samaritan. While I was working on the post it occurred to me that I have never heard anyone talk about the innkeeper.

It dawned on me that the innkeeper has been given an opportunity, the Samaritan has begun a good work and he has asked the Jewish innkeeper to complete the rehab on the injured man and after promising to repay him for his expenses, the Samaritan leaves. We don't know what the innkeeper did but we do know that he has options, he can take care of the Jew that was beaten or he can take the money from the Samaritan and do nothing.

If he decides to care for the man, the innkeeper could:
  • Keep a running tab of every single expense, he could be honest but legalistic about everything that it cost him. 
  • Be a thief and inflate the bill, he could make it look like the guy received the best care and that he was living in luxury.
  • Be like the Samaritan man and practice generosity as well.
The innkeeper could have looked out for himself and padded his own pockets as his reward for being bothered with this guy or he could be as kind as the good Samaritan was and help without any restrictions.

God wants me to be honest and to be generous in love and mercy, I need to be aware of the opportunities that come my way everyday.