A man in a parking lot collapsed in cardiac arrest. A car pulled up. It was a doctor who happened to have a portable defibrillator in the trunk. She resuscitated the man and got him to a hospital where he recovered.
Two students were out for a scooter ride when they ran out of gas on a long stretch of abandoned road. They were not prepared for the cold, and they huddled together starting to freeze as night approached. A pick-up pulling a fishing boat pulled up. The driver got out, pulled a gas can from his pick-up, poured a gallon into their scooter and drove off, never saying a word.
We call the doctor and fisherman good Samaritans. But there is one huge reason why neither of them fit the description. We will come to that in a minute.
We begin a series on Close Encounters of the Jesus Kind. We are obviously taking the name from the 1970s movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. These are encounters where we see the alien from a distance. This is a great description of how we encounter Jesus in scripture. It’s at a distance, not face to face. Still, I’ll warn you now, close encounters with Jesus even at a distance, often leave people changed or challenged.
Today we begin with the story of the Good Samaritan.