There was a man who was traveling alone. Some robbers attacked him and left him for dead. A first man came upon him, but crossed the road and left him to die. Then a second man came long, but he too crossed the road and left him to die.
Then a third man came along, but he didn’t treat the victim the same way. Instead of crossing the road, he offered mercy to a stranger:
He bandaged his wounds
He put the man on his own donkey
He took him to an inn
He stayed with him for the evening
He paid for the night
He covered the rest of the expenses
The first two men went out of their way to avoid him, but the third man went out of his way to serve him. He paid attention, gave his own time, spent his own money. The man was willing to be inconvenienced, go off script, fix damage he didn’t cause.
The man had a margin for mercy.
Let me ask you, does your life have a margin for mercy? Can you be inconvenienced, go off script, fix damage you didn’t cause?
Jesus told this story in response to a question, “Who is my neighbor?” and at the end, Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”
To follow Jesus is to go and do likewise.