In His teaching on ‘friendship’, Jesus identified four possible options for the type of friend to which we could aspire. His teaching, recorded for us in Luke 10, described the possible types of friends we could be, the attitudes that each friend possessed and the freedom all of us have to choose which type of friend we’d like to be.
The first type of friend is what I would call the ‘perpetrators of calamity’. These were the ‘robbers’ of Jesus’ teaching. Having outnumbered their victim, they…’fell upon him, stripped him, beat him and left him for dead’. It seems that their life attitude was–‘what’s yours is mine if I can take it.
The second type of friend would be those we call ‘pretenders of caring’. These clergy types, in Jesus’ account, approached the crime scene, assessed the situation and decided to leave the man helplessly in need and continue on in their chosen activities for the day. Their life attitude seemed to be–‘what’s mine is mine and you can’t have it’.
The third type of friend, represented by the inn keeper, are those we could call–‘profiteers during crisis’. This attitude says–‘what’s mine is yours if you can buy it’.
Finally, the fourth type of friend is modeled by the Samaritan: a hated class of citizens whom everyone discriminated against and whom all people shunned. He happened upon the crime scene, saw the needy man and immediately began to help. Caring little for his own safety and potential need, he ‘provided compassionate help’. His attitude was–‘what’s mine is yours. Here take it’.
Now, a couple of questions…
- Though Jesus did not use the word, which friend do we call ‘GOOD’?
- Now that we have a choice, which friend will we be?
Let’s avoid the perpetrator’s, pretender’s and profiteer’s type of friendship. Let’s model Jesus type of friendship: one marked by self-sacrifice and loving service.
Let’s say with the Samaritan–‘WHAT’S MINE IS YOURS. HERE TAKE IT’–and so fulfill the law of love.
I would suggest that our world could use a few Samaritans these days.