Bible Reading: Luke 10:25-42
Jesus was so practical. He didn’t have a “pie-in-the-sky, by-and-by” type of faith. His understanding about God, His theology, led Him to take action. In a discussion with a man about how to go to Heaven, He agreed that it was by loving God with everything that we have. But the down-to-earth question is: How do we express our love for God? Jesus told the man that the most real way is by loving other people. When we love other people the way that God loves them…we are expressing our love for God.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Lawrence Wahlstrom loved to tinker. You know, to take stuff apart and see how it worked…then, put it back together, again. If something broke around the house he didn’t take it to a repairman…he figured out how it worked and fixed it, himself. Gears amazed him. He enjoyed watching each of the gears and movements on a clock as they worked together…one gear turning another gear, turning another gear. He enjoyed it so much that he took a class in clock repair.
Then in 1948, he came across a strange contraption. It was a Norden Bombsight from World War II. These sights were used on airplanes to line up the bombs with the target before they were dropped. It had all sorts of gears and parts…but it was broken. So, what did Lawrence do? He fixed it. Then, he began adding additional gears to it. In fact, it became his goal to add 50 new gears each year. For 15 years he added new gears until his machine had 764 gears. It had a round gear driving a square gear driving an oval gear. He also added three electric motors, parts from an old slot machine, and other parts. It was incredible to watch it work. All of those gears and parts synchronized and moving and working together.
People were amazed at Lawrence’s machine. Articles and pictures of it were in Popular Mechanics, Life Magazine, and many other publications. Lawrence and his machine were so popular that they made appearances on television shows like Bob Hope, Art Linkletter, and 25 others. And today, the machine is on permanent display at the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad, California. What a wonderful machine!
Now, here is the really amazing part. Guess what he named it. He called it the “Do Nothing Machine”. Do you know why? Because it did…nothing. Nothing other than whir, and spin, and turn. Gears turning gears…turning gears…turning gears. And, what did it produce? Nothing. And, what did it do. Nothing. Just gears turning gears…turning gears…turning gears. Okay, enough already, you’ve got it. It was the Do Nothing Machine because it did…nothing. And yet, people would line up to watch it do…nothing.
Sometimes people are like the Do Nothing Machine. They look like they are doing a lot. They go here and there. They talk with this person and that person. They make decisions and give orders. But at the end of the day…nothing.
One day, a man who was a “lawyer” (an expert in the Jewish Law) came to Jesus and asked Him a question. “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked him what the Law said…after all, he was the expert. The man replied that we should love God with everything that we have and love our neighbor as we want others to love us. Jesus told him that he was right. Then He said, “Do this and you shall live.” I want you to notice one little word…”Do”. Notice that He didn’t say, “Think”, or “Accept”, or “Agree”. He said, “Do”. “Do this…”. You see, this man already “knew” this…but he had not yet started to “do” this. He knew that the way to Heaven was to love God with everything that he had. He also knew that he should love other people in the way that he wanted other people to love him. But, and this is a big but, he wasn’t “doing” it. And the thing is…he knew he wasn’t doing it. How do we know that? He tried to give Jesus an excuse for not doing so. He said to Jesus, “I know that I should love my neighbor…but who can really know who his neighbor is?” In that way, he was trying to say that since he didn’t really know who his neighbor was…he couldn’t really be held responsible for not loving him. Jesus wasn’t about to let him get away with such a lame excuse. So, Jesus told a story to help the man understand who his neighbor was. It was a story about a Jewish man who was on a trip. He got beaten up and robbed. Then, they just left him lying by the road. Later, two people who should have stopped and helped him…walked right by him…didn’t even slow down. Then, the most unexpected person stopped to help him…a Samaritan. You remember, we talked about them a few days ago. Samaritans and Jews didn’t get along…at all. The man who was injured was a Jew and the man who stopped to help…well, he was a Samaritan. The Lawyer didn’t see that coming, did he? What was Jesus telling the man? It’s easy to identify who your neighbor is. Just look around you. Your neighbor is the person who is in need. That makes it pretty easy, doesn’t it? And get this…when we love people…we are expressing our love for God. Because the most tangible, real way that we can show God that we love Him…is to love other people the way that He loves them.
Don’t be a Do Nothing Christian. Look around. Who do you know that needs help? Maybe they are discouraged. Maybe they have no friends. Maybe they need someone to help them with their work. Look around. I’ll bet you’ve got more neighbors…thank you think.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,