When I walked down the Jericho Road

Yesterday I pulled up to a red traffic light. I glanced left toward the row of shops that lined the pavement.

And I was shocked.

A man was lying there, unconscious. His bare chest and bald head were red in the blistering heat.

He was probably a spice addict but I couldn’t be sure. For all I knew, he could’ve been dead.

Three ‘Passer-bys’

Keeping an eye on the traffic lights, I was glad to see two people approaching on the pavement.

One was a suited and booted professional man. The other, a woman wearing a hijab. The man didn’t even look down.

The lights went green.

In my wing mirror, I saw the woman look down, before walking on.

And I felt sick.

But while feeling appalled by their lack of compassion, it wasn’t until I got home that something shocked me even more than the collapsed man.

I – an adopted, healed child of God, saved from my own spiritual death and hopeless situation – had also ‘walked on by.’

Wretched Man

Jesus told a parable about a priest on the Jericho road who walked past a Jewish man, left for dead. No-doubt the priest reasoned that he was off duty (Luke 12:30-37).

A Levite also passed by (Luke 12:32). Surely the man would be helped by someone more culturally like him?

But no. It was a Samaritan - someone who was hated by the Jews - who bound his wounds and paid for his refuge (Luke 12:33).

I don’t know why it didn’t even cross my mind to get out my car and help. Perhaps I subconsciously reasoned that the two pedestrians were better placed.

Who knows? But one day I’ll stand before God and will give an account of my actions yesterday afternoon (Hebrews 9:27).

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24