Learn to live the message of the Good Samaritan and make a global impact, using the resources already at your disposal.
If there were a popularity contest among all the parables of Jesus, the Good Samaritan would probably win. Nobody is against the Good Samaritan because being against the Good Samaritan is like being against Mother Theresa or Oskar Schindler or the firefighters who ran into the World Trade Center. In that same popularity contest, the Shrewd Manager would probably finish last. The Shrewd Manager is lazy, deceitful, and double-crossing. Yet in this alluringly freakish parable, Jesus actually holds up the Shrewd Manager as an example, as he does with the Good Samaritan.
This book is about learning to live the message of the Good Samaritan in the context of the globalized world of the twenty-first century. This means learning to love our global neighbor wisely by harnessing the resources at our disposal—our time, talents, opportunities, and money—on behalf of those who are victims of injustice, disease, violence, and poverty.
The early disciples were pretty clueless about worldly resources such as time, talent, and money—and unfortunately today we still don’t really get it. There are too many kind, well-intentioned twenty-first-century people with indisputably good intentions but whose impact on the needy is hampered by their inability to diagnose problems properly, harness the resources available to them to solve the right problems, and understand cause-and-effect relationships.
Shrewd Samaritan will help develop a framework to better love and care for our neighbors in an age of globalization, when the people in our neighborhoods, or at least those in our potential sphere of influence, has expanded dramatically. Increasingly it will become our global neighbor who takes us out of our comfort zone and challenges us with the needs of a broken world.