Would You Pass This Test?

Date: February 9, 2024

Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16


Many people say religion is something you believe. Jesus says it’s something you live.

In a small Bible college, a class on helping those in need explored the story Jesus told of the Good Samaritan. Samaritans were people of mixed race and part Jewish ancestry. The religious elite of the Jews hated them, yet in Jesus’s story, it was a Samaritan who showed a living understanding of God’s love (Luke 10:29–37).

In the story, when a man was beaten by thieves and left for dead, two devout Jewish religious leaders passed by without stopping. In contrast, a passing Samaritan disrupted his plans, tended to the injured man, and even funded his recovery. The Samaritan man was a living example of God’s love and care. Everyone else, despite claiming to know God better, failed to show God’s mercy to someone in need.

Jesus, concluded the story, asking, “which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” The obvious response was, “The one who showed him mercy.” “Now go and do the same,” Jesus said.

In that college class, the final assignment on the subject put the students’ learning to the test. While on a tight deadline to drop off their papers, each student was approached by someone in urgent need. Only one student risked a late submission to help his neighbor–and he was the only student to pass the class! He understood that loving people is more important than crossing off religious checklists.

Scripture teaches, “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16). Living out love and kindness is often inconvenient and almost always costly. God says that’s what true faith looks like!