Listen to today’s devo!

A priest . . . So too, a Levite . . . passed by on the other side. (Luke 10:31–32)

There are a multitude of reasons why we might discriminate against another human being. Some of the most common ones today include race, gender, class, and sexuality. We discriminate when we see ourselves as better, more worthy, or even more human than someone who is different from us. Discrimination becomes particularly problematic when it affects our decisions and behavior toward others.

When the expert in the law asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” he wanted to justify himself. He assumed that Jesus’ answer would affirm that his neighbors included those who were most like him—those who had similar values and beliefs. Jesus’ story was intended to make him think differently about what it means to be a neighbor.

In the parable, a traveler is attacked, beaten, stripped, and left for dead. The first two people who encountered the traveler in distress were religious leaders—ones whom might have been expected to stop and help. Yet both the priest and the Levite took note of the man, probably did some mental gymnastics, and then passed by on the other side of the road—leaving the man in his misery. Each for his own reasons felt justified in deciding the hurting man was not his neighbor—and thus they were not obligated to help.

This begs the question for modern-day disciples: Who would you feel justified in passing by?

Seek full awareness of your own personal biases toward others.

Kevin R. Scott is a pastor and author of “ReCreatable: How God Heals the Brokenness of Life”. He lives with his family in middle Tennessee.

© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.