From the Bible on Business – There’s room in my Inn

“But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’

So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.””

Luke‬ ‭10:29-37‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

When Jesus asks the question, “which of the three had mercy on the man?” we logically assume He is referring to the Priest, Levite, or Samaritan. But there is one other character often overlooked in this story – the innkeeper, a Jewish businessman running a hotel on the Jericho Road.

It’s easy to miss that the innkeeper made a decision to care for the injured man and engage with the Samaritan in a way that clearly was not good business. Jews hated Samaritans. They considered them “half breeds.” If people learned of what the innkeeper did, he’d develop a reputation that he and his inn welcomed “those hated people.” Certainly, his business would have gone down the drain.

And yet something motivated him to use his business as a platform for mercy and justice. There was no indication that he resisted; rather, he welcomed them. This time we see an innkeeper had room in his inn!

How can you use your work as a platform for justice?

David Spickard is the CEO of Jobs for Life based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Connect with David on Twitter at @davidbspickard.

My quick take: This is so true. I had never thought of the Innkeeper being part of this story. The Good Samaritan was so kind but so was the Innkeeper. He could have easily said, “There is NO ROOM” or “This isn’t a hospital”.

As a business owner or worker, we have plenty of opportunities to live out our faith; to be generous and compassionate while maintaining our focus. We aren’t a charity but that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t be charitable as the Spirit leads and makes available.

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