Episode 086 – Parable of the Good Samaritan Pt 3: Empathy and Action

Key Passage(s): Luke 10:33-37

There’s a marked distinction between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy stands at a distance and says, “I’m sorry you’re going through this.” Empathy stands in the other person’s shoes and says, “I want to understand your situation so that I can respond in a way that’s truly loving and helpful to you.” Too many of us choose the former. The Good Samaritan chose the latter. And that’s precisely what Jesus was after when challenging his followers to respond in love to those in need. Love must be manifested in action. And in this episode, we learn how to do just that. 

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • How well do you do in empathizing with someone verses sympathizing with them?
  • Are you making efforts to understand people’s situations? Do you ask enough questions to understand? How could you improve upon this?
  • Where have you empathized well with people? What was the result?
  • Where are you being challenged to respond in love more fully to someone in need? What may God be asking you to do?
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?

For Further Study

Disclosure of Material Connection. Some of the links above are affiliate links (meaning if you purchase them through the provided link, Walking The Text receives a small commission at no extra charge to you). That being said I only promote things which I thoroughly believe my audience will benefit from and that I use myself. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, part 255: “guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. So here is where YEHOVAH “touched” us before we were born:
    Romans 5:8

    But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    Sinners-the man/woman/person bloody and beat up on the road of life!!
    If the translation, Marcion and Constantine, is correct Why use Christ, as opposed to Jesus, Or Jesus Christ, and only Christ?
    Whether we are a neighbor, is the total focus of doing TORAH the personality of YEHOVAH and the man called Jesus!
    Then we have the will of YEHOVAH via TORAH to do this:
    Isaiah 58:6

    Is not this the fast that I have chosen?
    to loose the bands of wickedness,
    to undo the heavy burdens,
    and to let the oppressed go free,
    and that ye break every yoke?
    And instead of waiting on the HS one get this:
    Deut 30:14 if one reads and learns TORAH and
    Isaiah 30:20-21 the nudge is the HS seeing you reading TORAH and then can trust you to do the will of YEHOVAH, TORAH, thus wait time shortened and will of YEHOVAH, Lords Prayer by Jesus, gets carried out on earth quickly!

  2. Empathy has been on my heart lately and this teaching has allowed me to think through the implications of empathy. One way that I am challenged is how to empathize and take action with people who are homeless. Currently, I am in a region where there is a lot of homelessness and to know how empathize with each person can get complicated. Some of the factors that make it complicated are a lack of resources, some people say that they need money and are deceiving about the purposes, and that there are so many homeless people that it would take away from the time that I am expected to be with others. How in the midst of these factors can we care for and empathize with all of these people? How do we applicably empathize and take action with people who are deceiving about their money (they may go to buy drugs which only makes their situation worse)? I know these are big questions and is not an exhaustive look at these types of situations, but they are questions that I am faced with and feel a little overwhelmed thinking about it. This isn’t the only situation people may face, but only question I would like to end with that may help provide some answers to the questions proposed is: Is God being glorified by how we act towards others?

  3. A very fine police sergeant told me about a man who parks his car just off the highway, and then goes and sits in a chair by the road asking for money. In our city we are fortunate to have a rescue mission that ministers to all kinds of people with all kinds of needs. The mission has repeatedly asked us NOT to give money to people on the streets, but to direct them to the mission where they can get a hot meal, a bed and the gospel. If the needy are interested, there are also education classes and rehab classes available to them. The mission uses volunteers to help them in that great work. A wonderful way to join in the empathetic endeavor. “A hand up; not a hand out.”

  4. I have helped many in the past 7 years living in Holland. Homeless, addicts, teens, being a mother figure or friend etc. It often times came with backlash and taking from my resources and I have young children still to provide for. I have had to relook at my calling and now I still help but I do asking God for direction. Listening to this episode I can clearly see I was often times showing empathy and not just sympathy. And even more so I want to make sure I ALWAYS am showing empathy plus action. Thank you Brad!

Leave a Reply