7 Traits of a Gospel-Centered Good Samaritan

The Samaritan recognized that he could not care for the injured man by himself. He had to continue his journey. He did what was right at the time, meeting the immediate needs of the man, but also gave thought to what would happen to the man after he left. He recruited the help of the innkeeper. He wisely involved others.

1 Corinthians 3:5-9 reminds us that as Christ-followers, we are dependent upon one another. Even though we are one through the Spirit of God who indwells us, we possess different gifts, abilities, talents, and passions. God uses each one of us in different ways, to accomplish His kingdom purposes, and to grow each of us into spiritual maturity. Just as the Samaritan was wise enough to recruit the gifts and resources of the innkeeper to continue the ministry of meeting needs in the injured man’s life, so we are to involve others as we learn to pray for, serve, and share Christ.

7. We Must Be Willing to Show Mercy

Everything the Samaritan did for the injured man can be summed up in this word: mercy. Mercy is showing kindness and favor when it is not earned or deserved. Mercy is given as a gift. It is not giving someone what they may deserve, or what we feel is their “due.” To show mercy is to act in compassion, putting the needs of someone else ahead of our own.

Jesus taught that we receive mercy when we ourselves are merciful (Matthew 5:7). The most merciful thing we can do is be willing to speak the eternal, powerful, life-giving words of the gospel into the hearts and lives of those in spiritual need. As we show mercy in our conversations, our actions, and our deeds, we will present a true picture of God’s love for the unbeliever. Jesus came to show us mercy. Unlike the injured man in the story, we were not left “half dead” – we were spiritually completely dead, unable to restore our spiritual life.

“But God, being rich in mercy…” (Ephesians 2:4). Those words should cause us to look at others with eyes of mercy and compassion and commit to be the gospel-centered good Samaritan they so desperately need.

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