A different point of view on the Good Samaritan by Pastor Morris Liana
We had a visiting pastor from Myanmar (Burma) last Friday at Bible study. I was so blessed by his teaching and the talk of all the ways he is sharing the Gospel with people in his country that I wanted to share this with you. What he is doing in Myanmar is dangerous because the Buddhists in the area have taken property and killed Christians.
If you desire to contribute or help in this ministry, contact Pastor Morris Remial Liana EMAIL: LIANAM8@GMAIL.COM
Pastor Morris began his teaching by showing us the traditional garment of Burma (Myanmar) called the Longyi. He demonstrated how the women and men wear the garment. Men tie it in front, women at the sides. The Longyi is used for shorts (like a diaper), as a fan, as a towel, and as a blanket. The Longyi is also used to carry babies, it can be folded and placed on the head to carry goods on the head, a bag for possessions, a cover, held around the body to permit modestly changing clothes. Even old Longyis can be used as rags. There were many uses for this versatile garment. Below is a picture from the internet so you can see the skirt-like garment.
When Pastor Morris goes to witness to people he says that he has something that is more than your Longyi. For the people the Longyi is everything, and by using what the people know, he shares Jesus. He also shares the Jesus film..
Burma was ruled by a military junta for a long time, but recently (in March 2011) changed into the semi-democracy government. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State will visit in December. For the most part, the residents of Burma are in type of prison for they are unable to fully worship the way they want, to leave the country or move around. When Pastor Morris came to the United States to study at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi and Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky, he could not go home to his wife and children because he was afraid that he would not get leave to return to the states; that’s why he studied without going home from 1994-1997, but later he went home for two months each year until 2001 In fact, last year, UBS’ rice paddy field (twelve acres) that they used to feed the students in Mingladon Township, Yangon was taken over by the Buddhist monks (from Ma-Soe-Yain Monastery, Mandalay) and the local officials said that there was nothing that Pastor Morris and his people could do for the Buddhists would kill the Christians if they resisted because the military generals were standing behind the Buddhists in the Capital.
Pastor Morris sent me a photo taken on November 28, 2001 of the Buddhist monastery that was built on their rice field.
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
A lawyer tested Jesus, asking Him what he needed to do to get eternal life. Jesus asked him what does the law say. The ruler answered, Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”
Jesus told the lawyer that he had answered correctly, then the lawyer asked Jesus, who is my neighbor.
Jesus replied: Luke 10:30-37 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, gavethem 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.”
Pastor Morris told us:
Jerusalem: City of God, holy city, possession of peace, or foundation of peace.
In the parable, Jesus speaks of a Certain man (Samaritan) who went from Jerusalem to Jericho. Pastor Morris equates this to everybody is going down from birth to death.
The trip from Jerusalem to Jericho was about twenty miles. Pastor Morris said that we have gone through the twentieth century and are now entering the twenty-first century. The roads between Jerusalem and Jericho are rough and robbers can hide easily. This certain man was captured by thieves who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Mankind was robbed by satan in the Garden of Eden and discovered he was naked (stripped of his glory), wounded (sickness, disease, and death) and had to leave the garden and his close relationship with God.
Job 14:1 Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.
Even today we are wounded by satan who attacks our lives, our marriages, our children and our churches. We are all half-dead without Jesus.
Three kinds of people will pass by this wounded man.
A priest – Which represents world religion. Priests did not want to touch the wounded man because the man is unclean. Some religions want to help people but are not spiritually helpful. For example in Buddhism, there is a sense that human life is full of suffering caused by desire. Buddhists want to escape from desire. The new age tries to help, but is ineffective. The pagan religions of the day could not provide what the wounded man most needed, salvation and healing. Religions are ineffective to help with what is needed.
The second person to pass by was a Levite. He comes and looks, but passes by on the other side. Levites were not to be contaminated by death, and he did not help the man. The Levites represent the Old Testament Judaism, which is closer to the truth, but still does not offer salvation.
The third person to pass by was a Samaritan, who saw the man, had compassion on him, bandaged his wounds, poured oil and wine, and then brought him to an inn and took care of him. Pastor Morris equated this Samaritan to Jesus. The Samaritans were part Jew and Gentile – Jesus was God and man. Jesus came for the Jews, but his teachings also blessed the gentiles, who were later grafted in. The Samaritan did all the things mentioned in the prophesy of Isaiah 61, he had compassion, bandaged wounds, poured oil (Holy Spirit), took care of the man.
Notice that the Samaritan brought the man to an inn (hotel), which is a temporary place – we are not here permanently.
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
John 14:2-3 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The Samaritan gave two denarii to the innkeeper to take care of the man. Pastor Morris suggested that the Old Testament and the New Testament could represent the two denarii – and that we need them both to take care of ourselves while we are in this world. The Samaritan told the innkeeper that he would go and come back, use as we saw in the above verses, Jesus told us that He would come back.
The Buddhists believe in reincarnation, nirvana, nothingness.
As Christians, we are sure of our salvation and of the promise that Jesus will come back.
Then Jesus asks the lawyer who was this man’s neighbor. The lawyer replied that the one who helped the injured man was his neighbor. Jesus tells the lawyer to go and do likewise.
It is our responsibility to help those who are wounded. The Holy Spirit helps us to help others on behalf of God. We are to be like the good Samaritan.
When Jesus was on earth, there was a time when he went into the synagogue and said, Luke 4:18-20 The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus read the Isaiah prophesy and told those who heard Him that He was the fulfillment of that prophesy.
Matthew 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
The Isaiah prophesy was made 600 years before Jesus. We are to do what Jesus did, to take are of the wounded, the broken hearted, set captives free, and heal.
Pastor Morris told us that Burma has 50 million people who are like captives. They have only had a few years of relative freedom (from 1948-1961). Mostly they are under a military regime. For the past 49 years there has been a military regime and Pastor Morris is believing that the 50th year will be a Jubilee for Burma.
We are to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and Pastor Morris says that countries, leadership, our leaders need to begin to do the right thing.
Here are a few ministries that Pastor Morris and his wife oversee:
GALILEE CHILDREN’S HOME – orphans are wounded by satan, and many that come to him are in extreme poverty and half dead. His wife takes care of thirty-three children (plus four of their own at home)- and three of the orphans she raised are now attending Bible school and outside boarding class. We are to take care of the orphans and widows.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Psalm 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Exodus 22:22 You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.
Isaiah 25:4 For You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
Not only are there physical orphans but there are spiritual orphans – spiritual orphans are those who do not know salvation, and they do not have God as their Father.
Because of Jesus, we can call God Abba, or Father. We never need to be alone. We are never poor and fatherless.
Pastor Morris told us that a month ago in his orphanage, eighteen kids were baptized.
UBS – Union Biblical Seminary has had 370 graduates, who then become pastors and serve in mission fields among the Buddhists. For example, out of 32 Wesleyan pastors, 28 of them are UBS graduates. Some graduates are teachers and inland missionaries to the Buddhists. Of the 37 missionaries in Burma, 21 of them are graduates of UBS.
What Pastor Morris did was to train others so that he multiplied what he received in his training. Pastor Morris’s heart prayer is that the people of Myanmar will be saved.
Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
Luke 15:7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
Matthew 9:37-38 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
In Burma, only six percent are Christian and the rest are Buddhists.
PRISON MINISTRY, MEDICAL MINISTRY, AND HALF EGG MINISTRY
In a normal Buddhist family there are four to six children and many are hungry. Pastor Morris started a feeding ministry, figuring that if you feed them, they will come. At one point it was rice and an egg, but when so many came, each person only received half an egg, which is how the ministry got it’s name. But even that little bit of protein is valuable to a hungry person.
Matthew 25:35-40 …for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
When Pastor Morris and his helpers walk into a prison or feed the hungry, or administer medical care they are doing it for Christ, not the person. Before the services are rendered, the recipients are given a Gospel message.
Romans 10:14-15 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”
How? Someone has to tell them. Pastor Morris asked us if we were a sender or a doer? We all need to be focused on teaching the Gospel so people can be saved. It is the main ministry of the Church. Yes we donate to ministries that bring the Gospel to areas of the World, but we also need to realize that we must bring the Gospel to people who are starving for the truth in our own area as well.
We also don’t want to just focus on ourselves and our own needs but to remember that there is a world that is starving for the Truth.
Richardson said, “When the church has no mission work it becomes a mission field.”
Oswald J. Smith said, “While there are some people who have never heard about Jesus, I cannot preach the Gospel to those who do not fear God.”
John R. Mott said, “The church becomes a church only when she does preaching of the Gospel.”
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
All of the ministries that Pastor Morris does also contain preaching the word of God.
In Burma all prisoners (some are chained) have to work long hours. They are given two hours a day on Saturday and Sunday for rest. It is then that Pastor Morris comes in to feed and deal with the prisoners’ medical and spiritual needs. To feed the prisoners, the missionaries have to buy a pig from the prison, cook the pig and then feed the prisoners.
If there are 150 prisoners, the guards will tell the missionaries there are two hundred prisoners so that the guards and their families are also fed.
For the CHILDREN’S’ MINISTRY, HALF EGG MINISTRY, they feed the children, giving half an egg, rice, and tea. He told us that once an irate Buddhist Mom came to complain about the teaching, and Pastor Morris invited her to tea and food. She would eat and they would invite her back. As she ate they told her what they were teaching her children and over time she also became a believer.
Sometimes they hand out candy, and even the candy ministry draws children.
THE DOOR IS OPEN IN MYANMAR.
They are praying to God that the door for the Gospel be opened. When Cyclone Nargis on May 2, 2008 came, their ministry was placed so they could aid those hurt by the cyclone. People are now calling on the Lord. And one of the UBS teachers is an ex-Buddhist monk and is able to teach in such a way as to reach the Buddhists for Christ.
Isaiah 65:1 I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name.
There are so many souls crying out for the Lord and we want to win them at any cost. Matthew 9:37 The field is white, but the laborers are few.
I hope this teaching blessed you.
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