Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
This morning I was pondering this verse and while pouring myself a cup of coffee, I thought of a moving scene in the movie Ben-Hur. Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince, is betrayed into slavery by a friend who is an ambitious Roman officer. While being marched with other slaves to the sea they go through Nazareth. All of the slaves are desperate for water.
The entire group is getting water from the people of Nazareth- except for Judah. The people are forbidden by the guards from giving him any water. Judah collapses to the ground in utter anguish overcome with thirst. But then, into the scene comes a young man, a carpenter, who had observed what was happening from his hut. Ignoring the guards, he comes and kneels and lifts Judah’s head and gives him water to drink. I am in tears writing this, overcome with the power, tenderness and kindness exhibited in the scene.
The guard angrily yells at him to stop but the carpenter doesn’t. Instead, he stands and faces the guard who then backs down, unable to withstand the power of this carpenter as they face each other. All during the encounter, you can see in Judah’s face the gratitude, the wonder and bewilderment of what just happened. He knows that his life was just saved. As he later learns, he just encountered Jesus of Nazareth.
While this is a dramatic scene, the point I want to make is the value of offering someone who is thirsty a drink of water; someone who is weary, a helping hand; someone who is discouraged a word of encouragement; someone who is heartbroken, a shoulder to lean on; someone who feels overwhelmed, a friend who says you’re not alone. May we recognize and respond to the many opportunities that surround us to do the good that our Lord expects of us. This is loving one another and is at the heart of following Jesus.