Here is a look at the wineskin we need to embrace regarding how we see others if we are to walk like and with Jesus. In Luke 10:30-37 in response to a lawyer’s question Jesus shares the story of the Good Samaritan. The dialogue concludes with Jesus question and both of their responses.
36 “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37 (NKJV)
While the conclusion is that those in need are our neighbours, the story highlights different wineskins. We have the perspective of the thieves, the priest, the Levite and the Samaritan. The wineskin of the thieves was that they were free to take advantage of others to gain what they desired. Now we may not rob and beat people to steal from them but if we seek to take advantage of the vulnerability of others we may have unconsciously embraced this wineskin.
The priest and Levite (for a distinction, all priests were required to be Levites, not all Levites were priests, some had other duties). Their wineskin said they were not to get involved with those who could make them unclean. They may have thought the man was dead, we don’t know. What we do know is they crossed the road to avoid getting too close. They were experts in the law and knew they were to care for their neighbour (Lev. 19:18) but either ignored the Law or chose to not see the injured man as their neighbour. When seeing those in need makes us uncomfortable and leads to avoid getting involved perhaps we are not actually loving our neighbour.
Lastly we have the Samaritan. The Samaritans were a mixture of Jewish and other races and were despised by the Jewish community for their mixture and the two groups disagreed over who to worship. Jesus uses someone rejected by the lawyer to show a right heart. The Samaritan not only gets very personally involved he, like Jesus, bears the cost and inconvenience of getting involved. If we see those in need as our neighbours then we have embraced the wineskin of the kingdom, thinking and acting like Jesus.
In summary, here are the different wineskins Jesus presents. The thieves, take advantage. The priest and Levite, don’t get involved and don’t become defiled. The Samaritan, help those in need
Let’s walk with Jesus.