When I was a kid, I thought Robin Hood was awesome. Imagine a hero out there robbing from all those bad, rich people, and giving to all those saintly poor people. After all, my family and I were part of the ‘poor people’ group. Any movies I saw with him he was always this kind, smiling, compassionate hero out there opening doors for the helpless little widow, and giving a gold piece to the tattered orphan in the street.
For me to buy into the whole ‘Robin Hood’ hero thing, my beliefs had to adjust to a couple of things. First of all, the only answer to poverty was a savior. All of us in poverty were forever stuck there, and although there was no way out, we could wait in the streets for our masked man to ride by and throw us a coin or two. Yay for us!
The second thing I had to buy into completely was that anybody with wealth was inherently a bad, evil-hearted person. They had wealth because well, wealth is drawn to wicked people. That belief completely helped justify Robin Hood stealing from them because they shouldn’t have it to begin with. At least that’s what you have to believe to enjoy this whole theology. Basically, poor people are all good; rich people are all bad. Except of course if it’s a beautiful princess. Then she’s good because she’s beautiful, but at a certain point she would have to swear off her own wealth and live in the trees with the rest of us. That proves she’s really good.
Then along comes Jesus into my life and I begin to listen to Him instead of Robin Hood and his merry men. Was that easy? Absolutely not! Suddenly I had to take responsibility for where I was in life, for my sin, and failures. I couldn’t even play the victim card anymore because Jesus was victimized for me and defeated the curse, He became my personal Victor. God doesn’t endorse philosophy that says the end justifies the means. In fact, Isaiah 61:8 says, “I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and dishonesty.” So robbing, stealing, hacking, and being dishonest is something God doesn’t just look down on, He hates it. No shortcuts! No “poor me” grants or excuses.
Take a look at a story Jesus tells in Luke 10 starting at verse 30. “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.” The story goes on to say that both religious people and leaders avoided the injured man going on the opposite side of the road. Then along comes this now famous guy we simply call the Good Samaritan. He reaches out, helps the destitute man, bandages him up, puts him on his mule, and takes him to an inn to take care of him. When the Good Samaritan leaves the inn, he not only pays the whole bill, including medical expenses, he also pays for a couple more days of care with a promise to the inn keeper that when he returns he’ll reimburse whatever else is charged. That’s somebody with wealth, a good credit rating, and a solid relationship with the inn keeper. The Good Samaritan is the opposite of Robin the Hood. He is the remedy to thieves and robbers. He goes beyond religious talk, and actually solves the problem with his own resources. Not because he’s ordered to, but because he chooses to. He willingly gives, even when culture doesn’t find it politically correct. Any fool can steal. Robbery God hates. Giving of your own resources to make a miracle happen? Now that’s a movie worth watching; that’s a hero worth having. I think it’s time we make the Good Samaritan a superhero story. That’s bonafide!
Father God I want to hate what you hate, but I want to be compassionate and giving where You lead me to be. There are people in life that feel hopeless like they’re laying broken in the ditch. Give me discernment to know what will heal their wounds. Give me wisdom to know what encouragement will move them to a place of healing. Maybe it’s simply my invite to come to my church with me. Give me a courage to ask them to come with me. God provide for me abundantly so that I can have the resources necessary to help the helpless. Give me the right relationships, and the wisdom to meet the needs you’ve called me to be Your answer for. In Christ I am called to be the light of the world says Matthew 5:14. I believe I receive this call in Jesus Name!
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