Micah 6:8 beautifully summarizes our mission, both as believers and as Salvationists. We are to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with [our] God.” If we are truly walking with God, cleansed by the blood of Jesus, and purified by the fire of His Holy Spirit, His mission will be fulfilled in lives that reflect His mercy and holiness.
Jesus spoke of this mission at many times and in various ways but perhaps most powerfully in the Parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10:25–37.
There is really nothing extraordinary about what the Samaritan does. He simply uses what he has available—oil, wine, cloths, and a donkey, the ordinary stuff a traveler would have on hand—to help a stranger.
It does cost him time, inconvenience, and a little money, but he doesn’t hesitate. Perhaps he identifies with the plight of the victim and, rather than be restrained by fear or self–interest, he naturally moves to help. The Samaritan does what is possible for him to do at that moment.
The key elements here are practicality and possibility. The Samaritan doesn’t fix everything. He doesn’t hunt down the robbers, advocate for justice, or protest the lack of safety on the Jericho road. He simply does what is practical and possible for him to do—provides a little bit of soothing oil for the wounds, a drink for parched lips, a ride to safety, and money to ensure proper care.
Sometimes the vastness of people’s problems overwhelms us and, because we can’t fix everything perfectly, we hesitate to do even the smallest thing that might be the first step to wholeness. True compassion often lives in the small things that are possible for us to do.
Jesus ends the story with the command to “Go and do likewise” (v. 37). This is our mission, to do the very practical, small things that will “do the most good,” for the most people in the most need.
—Major Geddes is the territorial secretary for
Community Care Ministries & Women’s Auxiliaries.