Luke 10:29-30 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves . . .
In reading Luke 10 and the story of the Good Samaritan, an interesting little thought has come to me — one who is always in a hurry.
The certain lawyer asked Jesus a straightforward, plain and simple question, “And who is my neighbor?” As an American, I would have become slightly perturbed by Jesus’ circuitous, ambling, less than direct answer. The Oriental mind is here revealed. Jesus wanted the man to slow down, think, and see his own heart. Had he given the lawyer the quick-quick Western response, it would have totally squelched the effectiveness achieved by making the man listen to the story and then reason through to the conclusion; the teaching opportunity would have been completely forfeited for the sake of expediency, and the lawyer would have walked away having not gained understanding.
Our culture has lost the art to lead someone to answer their own question by asking another question and taking time. Jesus didn’t rush! We’ve lost the ability to listen a little longer, to reason a little deeper, to challenge a little more. We’ve become unwilling to altar our schedule. We need things to tuck neatly into “sound bites” or an exchange of the traffic light.
African thinking is more Oriental than ours. I’m beginning understand its value as demonstrated by our Lord and I’m beginning to like it better.