West Franklin Family,

I wonder what the innkeeper thought the morning after the Good Samaritan went on his way? I imagine he thought either (a) the Samaritan was a wasteful fool; or (b) the Samaritan was a lavish, merciful giver. The innkeeper had never seen anything like it before. A non-Jew helping a Jew. No. That’s not quite right. An enemy of Jews helping a Jew. That’s not quite right either. This man didn’t just help the robbed Jew. He went overboard to make sure he was taken care of. I wonder what the innkeeper thought the morning after the Good Samaritan went on his way?

The Samaritan left the equivalent of his credit card with the innkeeper to pay for any extra incidentals. Obviously, the Samaritan had used his own wine and oil and bandages and animal to clean him up, nurse the wounds, and get him to the inn in the first place. Not to mention he didn’t just drop him off and hoped someone else would “take it from there.” No. He obviously stayed the night to ensure the injured man had everything he needed. When the innkeeper asked the name of the man in Room 212, the Samaritan might not have even known. I wonder what the innkeeper thought the morning after the Good Samaritan went on his way?

To say the Samaritan went beyond expectations is an understatement. To say the Samaritan went the second mile is too short a length. To say the Samaritan demonstrated compassion doesn’t seem to accurately describe the weight of emotion. The Samaritan saw a man in need, cared for the need, then cared that the man be cared for until he was beyond cared for. He did whatever he had to do show how much he valued the man.

I think the innkeeper went home and told his wife. I think the innkeeper went into town and told his suppliers. I think the innkeeper told his boss what was going on in room 212. I think the innkeeper was blown away by the way the Samaritan cared for the once half-dead man. I believe he thought, “I’ve never seen someone care for another human like that.”

West Franklin, I will share more of what I believe the point of this parable is tomorrow morning. For now, I want you to consider: we have innkeepers all over Franklin. Men. Women. Teenagers. Boys. Girls. They have been to our campus. They have seen us on-line. They have checked us out. They are sitting in our pews. They are looking into our masked faces. They are coming. And, I believe, will continue to come. I wonder what they think after a Sunday morning and they go on their way? Are they thinking, “that was nice”? Or are they thinking, “I’ve never seen a group of people care for me like that?” Are they thinking, “Well, that is just like the other church we saw on-line”? Or, are they thinking, “Did you see the way they went beyond expectations to love me as a human being?”?

West Franklin, we are (Lord willing!) going to start slowly crawling out of this covid mess. The opportunities for us to make a lasting Gospel impact in our city is massive. A critical question lies before each of us: Will we see people and pass by on the other side? Will we see people and merely meet expectations? Or will we see people and move heaven and earth to ensure they are cared for? Genuine followers of Jesus don’t just “know and talk.” Nope. Transformed Jesus people “go and do.” If you want to know if a cat is really a cat, you put a mouse in front of it. If you want to know if a Christian is really a Christian, you put another human in front of them.

I hope some think we are wasteful fools. When that happens, it will mean a whole lot of people will see us like our Savior – lavish, merciful givers. At the end of the day, I can only speculate what the innkeeper thought when the Good Samaritan finally went on his way. But of this we can be sure: the man in need was cared for, loved, and valued as a human.

West Franklin, let’s go and do. Innkeepers are watching.

Pastor Matt

Quick Reminder: The service times tomorrow (and until further notice) are 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM! In other words, NO MORE 11:00 AM SERVICE!