Weekly Blog - John Simkins - Take Care
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Posted on: 12th September 2023

Luke 10:25 – 42 is familiar to us all. The religious expert testing Jesus, the parable of the Good Samaritan, and then a visit to Martha and Mary’s home.  There’s a little word that appears in these verses – CARE. 

Care can mean worries and anxieties but the Greek word I’m thinking of here has been described by one commentator as ‘having forethought, interest and provision for others’. This kindly, caring Greek word doesn’t appear often in the New Testament. In I Peter 5:7 Peter uses both ideas – ‘casting all your anxieties (cares) on him, because he cares for you’. 

So, we know that a couple of religious leaders didn’t care for a wounded man, for whatever reasons. A Samaritan had compassion and practically ‘took care of him’, giving his time and resources and taking him to safety. Then there’s the innkeeper to whom the Samaritan said ‘take care of him’. The Samaritan stays one night at the hostelry then leaves giving financial resources and a promise that he will return. If there’s a shortfall in resources he will fund the gap. ‘Whatever more you spend, I will repay you’. 

I think the innkeeper should get more of a mention – the Good Innkeeper! The out-reacher, the Samaritan, hands over to the pastoral, hospitality guy with a risk of ‘overspend’. Taking care is a costly responsibility and often it can feel that the task exceeds the resources, practically and emotionally. We don’t know the end of that story, but let’s move on to Bethany.

Martha welcomes Jesus, gets to prepping and hospitality, but feels overwhelmed. Maybe she got it wrong and a big meal wasn’t top agenda for Jesus when He and the disciples were itinerating. Her service seemed to her like ‘overspend’. She gets to Jesus and says ‘Lord, do you not care?’ (same Greek word).
‘Tell my sister Mary to come and help’. Jesus, noticing that Martha is worried and troubled by all her ‘this and that’ responsibilities, endearingly speaks to her - ‘Martha, Martha’. He kindly seeks to draw her into the need for inward resources to cope with the challenges and burdens that ‘service’ can bring: ‘Come on
Martha, take a little time out. I do have forethought and interest and care for you. Sit at my feet a while and listen’. 

‘One thing is necessary’ among the many things and challenges of life. ‘One – good portion’ – ‘to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen’; to receive inner strength, learning that he does care for us. Their village home becomes a house of the Lord - see John’s Gospel chapters 11 and 12!

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to enquire in his temple.’ Psalm 27:4

Dear God, please bless and strengthen all those kind carers out there in Leeds.

[References ESV UK]

John Simkins, Otley Prayer Network

authorNetwork Leeds

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