Everyone loves a good story. The best ones are memorable, and some can even teach us a lesson or two. I’ve got one today I’ll bet you’ve never heard.
I’ll get to the story in a moment, but first let me say “Welcome to Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me … You’re always welcome here. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
I’ve got a parable for you, which is a story with a lesson tucked inside. Here it is –
A man was standing on the sidewalk in front of his house speaking with his neighbor when a passing truck blew a tire, lost control and careened towards them both. With his back to the truck, the man was unaware of the immediacy of the danger he faced. Without a moment’s hesitation, the neighbor pushed the man as far as he could out of the path of the approaching truck, and it only ran over the man’s right leg. His neighbor, however, was struck head on and instantly killed.
At the funeral the man, still on crutches with a broken ankle, approached his neighbor’s widow as she and her two small children stood next to the casket. “I have no words to alleviate your pain,” he said, “but I am forever in your debt. I will care for you and your family.
True to his word, the man brought groceries every week, cared for the yard, purchased their clothing, and met every need. College was fully-paid as both children grew into adulthood. Cars were purchased. Home repairs paid for.
A new neighbor, seeing the way the man cared for this family asked him the reason for this extravagant behavior.
“Do you have any idea what he did for me?” the man asked, and then he recounted the events of that fateful day. “Do you think there is anything they could need that I would not move heaven and earth to provide?”
Here is the explanation of the parable.
You are the man, the truck is your sin and Jesus is the neighbor. He purchased your life at the price of His own. You may be walking with a limp, but the full price for your sin has been paid by another.
So for a second and ask yourself a question. Since that is true, shouldn’t the way you choose to live your life be impacted by Jesus’ actions? The man in the parable chose to live his life in a way that demonstrated his true gratitude every day. His life demonstrated his love and respect for the sacrifice his neighbor made.
Since God so loved us, I would suggest that we are inescapably drawn to two conclusions.
First, we ought to love Him. Such an amazing sacrifice demands our acknowledgement and response. Second, we ought to live a life that demonstrates our gratefulness. The way God puts it, by the way, is that we also ought to love OUR NEIGHBOR.
That’s it. That’s everything God calls us to do and to be – in six words that a child can understand: Love God and Love Your Neighbor.
So let’s you and I live lives of such extraordinary love and compassion that people are compelled to ask us why we do what we do as we love God and love our neighbor. Then our answer can begin with the question from this morning’s parable – “Do you have any idea what He did for me?”