[Lesson Index] [Prayer-School Mini-Series Index] [Prev Lesson] [Next Lesson]
In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus was asked what God expects of us. Jesus gave a simple answer. Well, it was simple to understand, but not so simple to implement, because it required a deep commitment from us to God. He requires us to love with all that we are -- first to love God and then to love other people.
The religious expert heard Jesus say, "Yes, do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself. He didn't want a simple answer: it's too hard because it's too direct. This guy didn't like the answer and he knew Jesus knew what to do. Jesus told him he was right. We can all quote the book and sing the songs. Jesus said, "Do this, and you will live." What does that mean? If you do this -- love -- then you will live.
God is easy to love. Totally separated to God living alone in a cave with Jesus is the most wonderful thing I could ever dream of. But He said love your neighbor as yourself. He didn't let me live in a cave. Rats! He said I have to love my neighbor! But He doesn't know my neighbors, they're drunks. They steal from me. They like to beat me up. My neighbor is not always nice. My neighbor is always hungry. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit, and love your neighbor as yourself." You too might prefer a cave! But it's right there in the Book. When you meet Jesus, you need to do it. Now you have to go do it.
Listen to what's next. Jesus gives them a little story. A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and when he fell into the hands of robbers they stripped him of his clothes, they beat him, and went away leaving him half dead: A naked, bloody man lying on the road. We don't want to make eye contact with a person like that and have to feel something. Because then we might have to do something to help. So here's a guy who's been beaten up and he's naked and he's dying there. They went away and left him half dead. It was not a pretty picture.
The hard part in the Western cultures is that these people are often in disguise in our nation. You can't always see them. You need strong eyes and a big heart to see them. You need to see in a way that's more difficult and takes more courage. You often see people well-fed and well-dressed in their nice homes. It's harder to see the dying man. But they're there. Don't be fooled by their disguise. Don't be blinded by their beauty. Don't be blinded by what looks like well-fed, because Jesus said He is the bread of life, and unless you eat this bread and drink this blood you have no life in you. Are they not naked? Are they not blind? Are they not starving to death? Are they not dying of malnutrition? Can we close our eyes because they look well-fed? No. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit, and love your neighbor as yourself. No wiggling out of this one. We must keep our eyes wide open to see like Jesus.
Jesus continued the parable. Next came the priest. He was on his way to a church growth conference. He wanted his church to grow. He's planning to get all the tapes and all the books, from all the publishers, and all the videos, and all the CDs. He's on a mission, he's desperate to grow his church because his church is little -- only four or five hundred people in it and he's going to spend some money learning how to grow his church. I don't know how much the conference cost to get in, but he paid that. And took time off and his board is letting him go, and he's very happy because he's going to learn how to grow his church. He's determined to learn the steps, one to ten, how to grow his church. What do I do to get miracles, steps one to ten? So he walks right past the one guy dying on the road. He walks past because he is so desperate to grow his church. He's so desperate to have people listen to him preach his message, that he can't see. He's a blind priest. His eyes are closed. He is as blind as blind can be.
I had the same type of experience as this priest. I thought I could see. We had been traveling, loving the poor for many years. Rolland was raised on the mission field, we've always tried to love the poor and preach our hearts out and tried to be loving and kind. We did the best we knew how to do. So it was a big shock when God told me I was blind. I'd already picked up all these orphan kids and we were praying every day how to feed them and watching God multiply food for us and save us from Marxist threats. When we were all homeless God would take care of us, so we didn't consider ourselves blind.
I remember having someone pray for me and prophesy that I would see the blind see, that I would see miracles, that the Lord would give me nations. So for a year I was tenacious about it and went around praying for blind people. I'd drive my car around looking for blind people. I'd grab them by the head and pray for them. I did this for a year. Lots of blind people are in Africa because they don't have any medicine to fix their eyes so they just go blind. They don't even have reading glasses. For a year I prayed for every blind person. They all got saved, but no one could see. I was so frustrated. I prayed for all these blind people and they were still blind as bats.
Then one night in a mud hut I prayed for an old blind woman. I held her and cried and I saw her eyes turn from white to gray to brown and she cried out, "I can see! I can see!" She was sobbing and so happy. I remember the joy in my soul as I drove away. The next day at the gas station there was a man who was blind and also crippled. I thought, this is perfect! He's blind and he's crippled! This is great! I was so excited. He also had a big tumor on his head. I screeched my car to a halt, prayed my guts out for him. He didn't see, but he did get saved. And he is in our church on the front row every Sunday. A man from New York came and cut the tumor off. His wife got saved, his son got saved, his daughter got saved, everybody in his family got saved. Why? Compassion. But he still can't see. We have seen blind eyes open, but we don't see everyone who is blind get their sight back. We even have a school for the blind.
God opened the eyes of three people around the same time. All three people who got healed and received their sight were named Ida (which is my name "Heidi" in their native tongue). I asked the Lord, what does this mean? The Lord spoke to me right then and said, "I want to open your eyes -- you're blind." Guess what He showed me? He showed me you -- the western church. He knew I didn't want to come here and love you. I didn't want to go to the US and to Canada and to other western nations and love them. He said, "They too are poor. They too are crippled. They too are blind. Won't you love them too?" I wept my heart out. God wants us to see every man, woman and child on the face of the earth like He sees them.
The next guy in Jesus' story was a worshipper. He could pray in tongues. He knew all the worship songs. He was going to practice for the worship team. He was on his way to worship. But he was a blind worshipper. He couldn't see, his eyes were blind because it was too simple. So he walked past the dying man who was broken, bloody and naked, because it would cost him something more than he had to stop.
The next guy that came along was an outcast. He was not loved. By the way, the guy lying on the road hates Samaritans. But at this point he didn't care. He was dying. The Samaritan got down in the dirt with the blood and dirt and nakedness. Unless you get the part about loving the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit, you can't do the next part. Do you know why? Because you don't have anything to pour on a dying man.
If you see the poor, even if they're in disguise, and you see the dying, and you see the broken, and you can't do a thing for them, it's hideous. Imagine having a huge heart and no power. Imagine having a heart that loves like Jesus and zero power. You have no food and they just die on your doorstep, hundreds of them. How would you feel? What would that do to you?
The Samaritan poured oil and wine on the dying man. First, love God. Oil and wine is symbolic of anointing, of power. When you have enough anointing then you have enough love and you can stop. And God will give you the anointing. And God will give you the power. And God will give you the Presence. If you will stop for Him, then you'll stop for Him. If you'll stay in His glorious Presence in worship and then you'll stop for the dying man, God will pour oil and wine into you and you will pour it out on the dying man.
The Samaritan woman knew because a prostitute talked to Jesus and was filled with love, because Jesus stopped for her and gave her dignity and asked for a drink. Jesus knew how to minister to her. He stopped and sat in the dirt on a hot day at noon because He had love for that wicked woman. He stayed and sat and loved her and because of that, she went and told everybody. And that Samaritan in Jesus' story knew about love and he stopped, and he loved, and he felt, and he had the heart of Jesus for that dying man. He poured into him and put him in his Lexus and took him to the hotel; wrecked the seats. And he said to the inn keeper, "I'll pay you. I don't care what it costs."