Editorial: The ministry of the innkeeper

18 July 2023

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The story of the Good Samaritan is perhaps the most well known of all of the Lord’s parables. It has been widely recounted as a guide for how people ought to show care and compassion to others.

Remember also that Christ told the parable in response to a question from “an expert in the law”, who asked the question “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). Christ was teaching that we can fulfil the law of God that calls on us to love our neighbour as ourselves (v.27) by imitating the Samaritan’s actions.

Yet we must also view the Good Samaritan as a picture of Christ. Only He can truly fulfil the law of God, and He has done so on behalf of sinners such as ourselves.

Like the innkeeper in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Barnabas Aid is entrusted with a ministry of care to the suffering that we fulfil by giving aid and practical support to marginalised and persecuted Christians around the world [Image credit: Sweet Publishing / Free Bible Images]

There is another figure in the story, often overlooked: the innkeeper, to whom the Good Samaritan entrusts the welfare of the injured man.

The ministry of Barnabas Aid is similar to that of the innkeeper. The Lord – metaphorically – brings to us the injured, the hurting, the suffering and the persecuted, entrusting them to our care. We fulfil the responsibility He has given us in giving aid and practical support to Christian believers, regardless of cultural distance or difference.

The Lord also meets the costs – through our faithful supporters – and, like the Samaritan (v.35), promises to meet the expense incurred in our ministry of care and practical support for those among His people who need our help.

This means the provision of not only the financial costs, but also the provision of the myriad other spiritual and practical means required in the daily work of Barnabas.

The Lord has provided it all, and we trust that he will continue to do so for as long as He wills that we continue in our ministry of mercy to His suffering and persecuted people.  

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