by James Merritt

Like a Good Neighbor - Jesus Is There
James Merritt
Luke 10:25-37


1. If you have ever watched the President of the United States deliver the State of the Union Address in recent years, you know that at some point in his speech he will point to the balcony and introduce an ordinary citizen as a real hero in this country. You may not know but that custom began when President Ronald Reagan introduced a man named Lenny Skutnik. To this day reporters will ask presidential aides the question: ''Who are the 'Skutniks' this year?'''

2. Lenny Skutnik was a federal worker walking down the street minding his own business, until the day that Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River. The flight had just taken off from Washington bound for Florida. It had developed ice on its wings, and it brought the plane down as it tried to clear Washington's 14th Street bridge.

3. In the next moment several passengers were thrown into the icy river. A helicopter soon came by dropping down ropes, but it could only save one person at a time. There was one lady in the water who was struggling to grab the ladder. But she was so cold and so frozen she could not lift her arms out of the water, and it looked like she was going to drown.

4. Everyone else on that bridge was shouting encouragement to her. Lenny Skutnik broke through the police barricade, jumped into the river, risking his own life, and pulled that lady to shore, who otherwise would have surely drowned. The President of the United States called him a hero. Do you know what the Lord Jesus would have called him? - A good neighbor.

5. Of all the stories Jesus told, along with the prodigal son, perhaps the most famous is the story of the Good Samaritan. This is a story that is directly related to the Lenny Skutniks of this world. The story begins with a lawyer asking a good question with a bad motive.

''And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, 'Teacher, what shall I do ...

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