Go and do likewise

Michael Ngubane

We thank the Lord so much that He has kept and guided us thus far. We thank Him that He has allowed us to listen to His word on this, the Lord’s Day. We realise that we cannot do anything without God and all that we have been able to accomplish, even here on the mission, is only through His grace and power. We thank God for times like these because they teach us to know God in a new way and we can grow in our knowledge of God, knowing His will and Himself personally.

God has been leading us. We have received messages from many people thanking us and God for what He has been doing recently. They are thankful for the messages they receive during the week and on Sundays through the communication platforms that we have.

Lockdown Level 3 has brought the relaxation of some restrictions, one being the sale of alcohol. It has become obvious that alcohol wreaks havoc on society. Hospital admissions and crime have shot up as a result of the sale of alcohol. The rate of infection in South Africa is increasing dramatically. The sale of alcohol has exacerbated the fact that people are unable to control themselves and comply with COVID-19 regulations. We were warned that if the sale of alcohol was allowed this type of thing would happen. We see this very thing happening. We can only say, “God, have mercy on our country, have mercy on our nation.”

It is almost unimaginable that it is soon time for the June/July holidays on the normal school calendar when we would have hosted the youth conference. Schools are scheduled to open tomorrow with Grade 12 and 7 learners. We continue with God’s work and services through livestreaming and broadcasting. We have planned to proceed with the Youth Conference in this manner. Young people, you have grown up with technology and now you can use it for a good purpose. You can view the services and experience the conference through your device. Lord willing, the June Youth Conference will begin on 19 June. Set yourself up to receive the services which will take place at 10h00, 15h00 and 19h00 daily. We trust that the Lord will work and that the Gospel can go forth, more than ever before. Please pray for these services that God will work even though Satan is trying to prevent the spread of the Gospel. Pray that the Lord will help us to use the means at our disposal.

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:25 – 37

“You go, and do likewise.” The wisdom and understanding of Jesus supersedes our minds. Who can deny that He is truly the Son of God? Who can deny that He comes from God when we see His wisdom and insight which far supersedes our own? To those who were wise in their own eyes, He spoke at a level they would understand. To those who were simple and unwise, He spoke to them in a way they would understand, lifting them to a level so that they would not perish because of their ignorance.

In this text people came to Jesus with various motives. Today people also come to Jesus with ulterior motives. Jesus said that some only sought Him because they ate bread and were filled. He said that they should not only work for bread which perishes but for something far better. Some flocked to Jesus for physical healing. The Pharisees approached Jesus, asking questions in order to trap Him.

Many came to Jesus wanting to know about salvation and eternal life. This question troubled many including the rich young ruler who ran to Jesus and fell down before Him. People today are also troubled by this question. They go hither and thither looking for answers but usually to the wrong people where they find answers that cause more trouble and heartache, instead of going to the One who can give those solutions. Some people have domestic, family or relationship problems and the people they ask for help lead them further astray. They are required to pay expenses they never budgeted for. They might have to buy an animal and slaughter it but after everything their problems worsen. We need to come to Jesus with our problems and questions because He is the only source of life, He has the solution to that problem because He is the One who comes from God.

This lawyer who knew the law asked Jesus this question. He wanted to put the Lord to the test. Listen to the answer of Jesus, the Lawyer of lawyers, answering a lawyer. We need wisdom when answering questions. Sometimes the best answer is another question. The lawyer was familiar with asking questions and now Jesus used that which he was familiar with and asked a question in return. 25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” His question sounds good but he had a hidden motive. He was not really looking for an answer, he wanted to test the Lord Jesus. If we were asked such a question we might think the person wanted to be saved and you would use the opportunity to speak to him about the Lord Jesus. However, Jesus realised that the lawyer did need that knowledge. 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” One may consider Jesus’ response as stinging. The reason why Jesus answered in this manner was because of the lawyer’s motive. He set a trap for Jesus so He responded in a way that the lawyer would understand. Amazingly this lawyer answered correctly: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”  Jesus responded and said that he had given the correct answer. The answer pleased the Lord Jesus, although that was not initially his motive. Jesus’s response was …do this, and you will live. Do exactly as you have said and you will live. If you do what you have just told Me, that is the answer to your question. Go and do that and you will inherit eternal life. Although that was not the motive of his question but if he would do it, he would live.

We often say we love the Lord Jesus. What kind of love is it? You love the Lord Jesus but you are riddled with sin. If you truly loved the Lord Jesus would you so easily be involved in that sin? You should love the Lord with all your heart. The way in which some people behave shows that their love for the Lord Jesus is incomplete. Some only love the Lord Jesus on Sundays, some love Him when everything agrees with them but when things go against them or their belief in the Lord Jesus causes issues, they drop it. When the going gets tough their love wanes, cools off and disappears. This is the time when their love should increase and strengthen. Can you really say that you love the Lord Jesus with all your heart? Jesus sees everything even the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.

Jesus saw the heart of this lawyer. He saw his motive. He asked a pious question but his heart was not in it. Jesus turned the tables on this lawyer and answered the lawyer’s true need. Friend, when Jesus turns the tables on you and things are upside down, allow Him to do it because that is what you need. When things get tough in loving the Lord Jesus and there are obstacles and challenges, it should develop a deeper and more fervent love for the Lord Jesus. For if you truly love the Lord Jesus with all your heart, you will deny yourself, you will deny everything of this world because the love for Christ is of utmost importance. This love should cause us to draw nigh to the Lord Jesus. It should cause us to seek to know Him more. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” It costs everything even though there is nothing. Loving Jesus will cost you everything that you have. If you are not prepared for that cost then leave it completely. All or nothing. Loving Jesus does not just mean that we only say it with our lips. We must love Christ with all our hearts, with everything that we have – not half or a quarter, not three quarters, not even 99,9%. Everything. Examine your life and see whether you love the Lord Jesus. Is it waning? Are you being influenced by the world? This is an obvious indication that you do not love the Lord Jesus with all your heart. If you do, it will be with all your heart and strength.

Friend, what takes the place of the Lord Jesus in your life? Maybe you are not fervent in your love for the Lord Jesus, you are lukewarm. “…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” Why are you involved in sin and have the disgrace of sin on you? You have lost that first fervent love when you first came to Him. It is no longer there.

The rich young ruler ran to Jesus because he was troubled about eternal life. This question should also be of paramount importance to us – will we inherit eternal life? What should we do in order to have the assurance of eternal life? How will I be able to stand before God? Will the Lord Jesus be pleased with my life? Will I stand before Him unashamed? Will I be prepared to stand before Him? These questions should consume us daily. Jesus said to that young man 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour your father and mother.’” Luke 18:20. The young man’s response was “All these I have kept from my youth.” Jesus said that he had answered well but there was one thing missing: “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Luke 18:22 In spite of keeping all the laws, Jesus noticed one thing lacking. This young man, 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Luke 18:23 Why? The Lord Jesus touched the crux of the matter. This young man was unprepared to part from it for anything in this world.

Friend, there is something in your life that is the crux and the Lord Jesus wants to put His finger on it. Allow Him to. We need to submit to God when He speaks about things that separate Him from us. We need to be willing to part from whatever it may be if that thing withhold eternal life from us. Is there anything that you find difficult to part from? Jesus wanted to help this young man. His question was good and Jesus gave him the solution. Friend, how do you come to Jesus? What questions do you have? Have they been answered? Has Jesus put His finger on the crux of the matter, on the answer to your question? Sometimes all you need to learn is how to humble yourself, bow, submit and accept when God points out something in your life. To love the Lord Jesus means to deny yourself and to put aside your own preconceived ideas, your way of looking at things and say, “Lord, today I want to receive that which is of You and see things the way You see things. Lord Jesus, I need You. Lord, I need You to instruct me, teach and show me Your way.” Some people have said, “Lord, wherever You lead me I will follow.” Is it still like that or now as the pressure mounts you find it more difficult to follow the Lord wherever He goes?

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Luke 18:22 Go now and sell all those things that cause your love to be incomplete and hypocritical towards the Lord Jesus. There is a type of humanistic love which can replace God’s true love. Jesus asked Peter if he truly loved Him. Some people expect you to show them a kind of soppy, humanistic love when they are in their sins so that they are not reprimanded. This is not real love. Love that closes an eye to sin and accepts it, where people want to be left as they are, is not real love. If we love the Lord Jesus we will treasure what He does and feel what He feels. Tell me, how much do you love the Lord Jesus? Is it a human love or is it the love of God? Do we love Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds and all our strength? How much strength do you put into loving Jesus? With some people it is obvious that he is in the flesh, he does not see as God sees, he walks in sin. It is of paramount importance that we have this true love to God in our minds that we love Him with all our soul, strength and mind. Do you love Jesus?

I do not know why the lawyer asked this particular question but he truly received the answer. If he did what Jesus said it would lead him to eternal life. Jesus was pleased because He said that had answered correctly. Jesus was pleased with the question and the answer but not the motive behind it.

27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”  Part of the lawyer’s answer was: and your neighbour as yourself. Who is my neighbour this morning? Who is that one I should love as I love myself? The Jews accepted that their neighbours were those from their own nation, their fellow Jews, not the Gentiles and those from other nations. Friend, who then is my neighbour, your neighbour? Who is the one close to you, next to you? Man likes the one who likes him. I greet the one who greets me. The one who considers me when I have a problem is my neighbour. If I see that person with a breakdown I will assist because he is my neighbour. If that neighbour is hungry I will go out of my way to help that neighbour. But Jesus’s ways are far higher. His thoughts are far more exalted. What are we? We are nothing before Him. Jesus takes the one whom you look down on and despise and He says that he is your neighbour. You should not despise him. You should not reject him. He is your neighbour. You say but I must help my friend, my neighbour which is true but Jesus goes a step further. The one whom you disregard, the one whom you look down on, the one who is nothing, the one you do not even care about (where he eats or sleeps) that one is your neighbour.

In the times in which we live black people are often considered to be downtrodden, they were disadvantaged and are needy. But as a black person, I direct this to black people: when you see a person of a different race, do you care for that person? Do you reach out to that person? Before God that is what counts – helping someone who is different to you.

The Lord said, “Love your neighbour.” How? The Lord Jesus gives us the degree in which we should love – love your neighbour as yourself. You should do to others and you would have them do to you. We should do more for them. We should show them true love. If they are hurt and in need, we should reach out to them and help. I need to assist my neighbour in the way I would like to be assisted. Measure your love and weigh it on God’s scale: do you love others as you love yourself? Do you consider others as you want to be considered? There are some people who want everything for themselves. They are selfish. They do not think of others. Your neighbour might be in your own home. You do not consider them, you just ride roughshod over all their feelings. My friend, the Bible goes against you. This is not the manner in which you live biblical Christianity. Love your neighbour as you love yourself. Many people fail at this point. You do not consider others as you consider yourself. You feel entitled. You feel you deserve everything. If there is food on the table, you pile your plate because you just think of yourself and you do not consider whether there is anything left for others and then you may not even finish the food which is thrown away. What causes this? It could be a lack of understanding but usually it is because of selfishness and not considering others.

Jesus illustrates through this man who went down to Jericho and was attacked by robbers who beat him up, stripped him and left him half dead. They had no sympathy for him. Then some people passed by. A Levite walked by on the same side that the man was lying but when he saw him there he said, “I don’t have time for this, I am late for my prayer meeting.” A priest walked by but looked in the opposite direction and ignored him. He may have made up some reasons: “I don’t have time, I have an appointment.” Both men were religious people. We often have our own justifications why we cannot help people. “I must go to a prayer meeting,” you say but what kind of a prayer meeting are you attending when you leave someone in their sin, their need and leave them to perish? The good Samaritan had compassion for this man on the brink of death. He cared for him and took him to a place where he could be helped. The Bible says that he had the quality of compassion. “How can I leave him so injured? How can I leave him? He is going to die,” he said. Friend, there are many perishing and dying in their sin near you but you have no feeling or compassion. They can die and go to hell, you say. You could not care less. You have more important things to do than that.

This Samaritan did whatever was needed. He cared for the man’s immediate need. He carried him close to his heart. He put him on his animal. He took him to the inn close by and provided for his needs. Friend, do you see in that the compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ? He found us half dead, perishing in our sins. He took care of us, He treated our wounds and carried us to a place where we could get help. He paid the ultimate price for our salvation. We were filthy and smelly but He did not care. He picked us up and held us close to Himself. He washed us. He cared for our wounds because He wants to fit us for heaven. Jesus wants to wash us. What this man did when he poured wine and oil on his wounds is what Jesus wants to do for us. He wants to cleanse us and heal those wounds. That is why He says He saves and rescues the perishing.

Oh, what manner of love has the Lord Jesus not shown us! What mercy and grace in cleansing us and making us fit for heaven.

Friend, why do you resist? Why do you run from Jesus when He wants to hold you to His breast and pour wine and oil on your wounds? Why do you resist? Jesus’s intention is to save, rescue and heal you.

German translation

French translation