Two men took a seat at a table of a local coffee shop. One was dressed in a suit and tie with a Café Mocha at his fingertips. He had walked over from the courthouse after many hours of defending his business client, who was being sued from a customer who had fallen and broken a hip at his establishment from a wet floor, with a wet floor sign absent from the scene.
The other man was dressed more casual, jeans, T-shirt, and sipping from a Caramel Frappuccino. He was a teacher, who had spent the day substituting a College Algebra class at a private Christian School, mind-blowing their worlds with the quadratic formula.
“So Chris,” the lawyer said to the teacher, wanting to test him and to prove his superiority, “I have a question for you.”
“Shoot,” the teacher replied.
“How can I get into Heaven?”
“What does the Bible say?” asked the teacher. “How do you read it?”
“Well, the Greatest Command is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself,” the lawyer replied with a grin.
“True,” replied the teacher, “and that is your answer. Do this, and you will live for eternity.” He took another sip of his caffeine.
But the lawyer, hoping to justify himself, asked, “And who is my neighbor?”
Chris took another sip before he placed his cup on top the table. He then looked at his friend and replied, “A man was walking down the shoulder of the highway, when a car pulled over and parked in front of him. The driver and his gang jumped out of the car and attacked the man. They stripped him naked, taking everything that the man had; beat him up, and left him half dead on the highway as they sped away.
“Now, it so happened that a pastor was driving down the same road on his way to a church building, and he saw the bloodied man lying there. He looked at his watch and saw that he was already running late for an elders’ meeting. He had already been severely late the month before, there was surely no way that he could stop and help the man now. Praying that God would forgive him, he crossed over to the left lane so that there was no chance that he would hit the man, while also trying to alleviate his guilt, and passed him by.
“A few minutes later, a youth minister was driving down the highway, and he was almost blinded by the sun reflecting off the man’s white body. He was on his way to the airport, to meet a group of teens that he was taking on a mission trip to Honduras. He looked at his watch, if he stopped to help the man now, they might miss their plane. . . . The youth minister couldn’t disappoint the teens, or their to be angry parents who had sacrificed their time and money for their kids to spend a week sharing Christ. So the youth minister prayed that God would forgive him, as he crossed over to the left lane so that there was no chance that he would hit the man, while also trying to alleviate his guilt, and passed him by.
“Now, a Muslim was driving down the highway and he saw the man, who was now glowing red from the burning of the sun. His heart ached from seeing the man who was lying on the shoulder; therefore, he pulled over. He took out a first aid kit and a blanket from his trunk and aided the man, wiping away the blood, disinfecting and Band Aiding his cuts, and wrapping his naked body in the blanket. The Muslim then carried the man to his car and laid him in the passenger’s seat. Future blood stains were leaking onto his seat and floorboard as the Muslim took the man to a hospital. The Muslim then helped the man to be admitted and staid in his room that night as a companion.
“In the morning, the Muslim asked the man’s nurse to take good care of him as he healed, before he paid the hospital for the man’s stay and told them that if there were any extra fees, that he would pay them when he came back.
“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who had been beaten up?”
The lawyer replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
And Chris said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”