The Good Samaritan story, which Jesus told to teach neighborliness is one of the most well-known in the Bible. The emphasis of the story is on the kindness of the Samaritan in contrast to the aloofness of the priest and Levite. However, the subject of that story is hardly ever mentioned in sermons and teachings. That is, the wounded man.

The world is full of people who have been wounded, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Many were wounded due to no fault of theirs while others are self-inflicted. Some were wounded by strangers, some by acquittances, and others by close people, such as friends, siblings, spouses, etc. Some were wounded by circumstances beyond their control and others by the foolish choices they made. Regardless of the cause and source of their wounds, their common denominator is that they need some help.

The man in this story was going down to Jericho from Jerusalem. This was a hilly and dangerous stretch of road and people often went in convoys for safety, according to history. So, why did he travel alone? Was it an emergency? We don’t know, but he ended up in the hands of robbers who ‘stripped him, beat him, and left him half dead.’ Note the words “half dead.” They are significant.

Many have been emotionally wounded by various people, situations, and circumstances. Emotional wounds, unlike physical wounds, are invisible however deep they are, and people devise various coping mechanisms. Some manage to cope well, while many others fail to cope and become broken.

For those who are wounded, broken, or still struggling to cope, here is a word of encouragement.
Regardless of the cause, source, and depth of your wound; remember these three things:

1. You are only wounded, but not killed, just like that traveler. That you are alive means there is hope. Think of the possibilities ahead of you and put the problems behind you. The robbers could have killed him outright, but they left him half dead.
What stopped them? Did they suddenly have compassion for him? We don’t know but leaving him half-dead made all the difference.

2. Know that help is on the way. This wounded man lay there, heard footsteps close by, and then the footsteps faded until finally, another set of footsteps brought unexpected help. The help came from the most unlikely source. A Samaritan, and he was a Jew. God would not leave you to die of your wound without help, even if it is going to be from unexpected sources. So, be expectant, help is on the way.

3. After your wound is soothed and you are recovering, do not become bitter. Bitterness will rob you of the possibilities ahead. The robbers have moved on and so should you.
Be thankful for life, even if you are still bandaged up and limping. Things can only get better from there on.
Cheer up, even if you don’t feel like it.

‘…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.’
Psalm 30:5

By James.S. Aremu-Cole

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