Luke 10:25-37 illustrate what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. What we do with our Christianity shows the world why Jesus Christ has made a difference in our life. I love the sentiment expressed by Benjamin Franklin:
I think vital religion has always suffered, when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. And the scripture assures me, that at the Last Day, we shall not be examined on what we thought, but by what we did; and our recommendation will not be that we said Lord, Lord, but that we did GOOD to our fellow creatures. 1
After explaining briefly why the Samaritans and the Jews at the time of Jesus had animosity towards one another (see Samaritans, Bible Dictionary, p. 768), we examined how this type of anger and resistance is seen today. Many students reflected on the conflict in the Middle East, with Israel surrounded nations antagonistic to her. Some spoke of the experience of being bullied in school. Whatever the situation, young people know what it’s like to be disliked. Many have been bullied.
Many of the teachings of Edmund Burke have been summarized with the following statement: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Thomas Jefferson once said, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
Both of these quotes teach the principle that standing around doing nothing while evil is taking place in front of us is not optional. The disciple of Christ will find ways to oppose evil and to stand for truth and righteousness.
When good men do nothing, evil triumphs. Evil, sin and sinful men must be opposed. God commands those who are good, not just to avoid evil but to do all they can to oppose it.
Followers of the Savior are to not only to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11), in other words, we are to strive against the adversary at all times. We should be the type of Saints that when we get up in the morning the devil says to himself, “Oh no… they’re awake!” Those who do nothing about evil, in a way assist it in its growth. One who is silent when evil is taking place all around him becomes a partaker with them (Ephesians 5:7).
Some “handles” that students came up with to remember the principle were:
1. Rise UP
2. Good people don’t stand around
3. Do Something!
4. Disciples Make a Difference
5. Don’t Stand Idly By
1. Benjamin Franklin to Josiah and Abiah Franklin, April 23, 1738. Labaree, Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 2:204.