While on my way to Manila for the Global Discipleship Congress (GDC), I read a special report of the “Boston Bombing” from the Times Publication.
An excerpt reads, “The fastest route back to ordinary life is paved by extraordinary kindness. To those who were witness to the horrific violence, the city of Boston opened its arms. Many runners who escaped unharmed were left wandering in the growing cold that night, no ID, no credit cards, no money or luggage, unable to return to their hotels because they were locked down in the blast zone. Boston residents emerged from their homes with sweaters and plates of food; girls on Newbury Street passed out white flowers to runners, asking them to return for next year’s race. A rabbi who’d been at the finish line offered the National Guards guarding the site some pastries and thanked them for their service. On the other side of Boylston Street, marathon organizers were giving out medals to anyone with a runner’s bib, and a nearby Starbucks was serving free coffee and doughnuts to everyone on the street. By night fall more than 6,000 people had offered places to sleep for the displaced, while the Red Cross opened shelters.”
Likewise, Jesus told a story of the “Good Samaritan” where an expert in the law asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” In reply, Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:30-37).
The GDC and PITH (Partners In The Harvest) are two conferences with the aim to ignite spiritual passion for the Great Commission. We often hear Christians talk and quote the Greatest Commandment and the Great Commission.
In the gospel, we have also read that one of the Pharisees, an expert in the law, tested Jesus with this question:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:35-39).
Why did Jesus quote the second commandment as well, and not stop short after giving the first and greatest commandment? I believe Jesus intended to teach us that if we truly love God, it will manifest within us in an outward expression of loving people.
Man is made in His image with capacity to receive and give love. And it is God’s love that we have received, that knows no bounds, that will propel us to fulfil His Great Commission.
By Juan Hui, Deacon (YCKC Bulletin 13&14 July 2013)