The Good Samaritan
THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
Midrand Chapel 15th August 2021
· Today we will look at the parable of the good Samaritan.
· Before we start let’s remind ourselves of a few principles.
o Parables are stories Jesus told to get to the heart of deeply spiritual issues.
o To understand a parable, we must ask what the original listener was hearing in this case the lawyer the expert in the law.
o Then we must enter the story and ask what lesson God has for us in our context.
· Read The Text Luke 10:25-37 with those thoughts in mind
· Read Romans 13:10 (ESV)
10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
· Read Matthew 5:43–44 (ESV)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
· Ask the Question “WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR” This is a loaded question a thought-provoking question.
o Is it a sincere and humble seeking to expand your horizon of neighbour to be all inclusive?
o Is it self-justifying shrinking of my horizon to a comfortable manageable group of my liking wanting to know how far I must go before I no longer have a responsibility, when can I say that’s far enough, when can I start seeing not a neighbour but an enemy and resist, and even reject people outside of my comfort zone?
o This shrunken worldview with its sense of entitlement and rejection is a historic ever present worldview we have seen it:
§ The slave trade with its estimated 10 – 12 million slaves from the 16th -19th century with its
§ Nazi Germany and the annihilation of 6 mil Jews
§ Hutu Tutsi genocide of Rwanda with its ethnic cleansing.
§ Apartheid in South Africa where whole race groups are set aside
§ Not to mention the many other areas of discrimination rich & poor gender discrimination, class discrimination, race discrimination etc…
§ The question is concerned with justifying boundaries and limiting compassion.
§ That’s why we still need the parable of the good Samaritan today.
· Lack of compassion for others is born out of an escalated sense of entitlement, that we deserve, and we have a right to our privileges.
· The Jews falsely believed they were entitled to salvation and therefore a privileged advantaged people that then led to a limited self-serving view of neighbour while all outsiders were enemies not worthy of compassion.
· Jesus radically opposed both entitled salvation and limited compassion with its self-serving view of who my neighbour is.
Ø So when the lawyer, the expert of the law asks his two questions they were sadly not a sincere and humble search for truth, but a challenge to test and expose Jesus by discrediting Him as a false teacher with radical views worthy of rejection.
Ø Rather than being discredited Jesus REVEALS TRUTH LIFE CHANGING WORVIEW CHANGING TRUTH that reaches throughout the ages right into our very own lives today. So what are the two questions that we must look at:
1. What shall I do to inherit eternal life? Followed by Jesus response.
2. Who is my neighbour? Followed by Jesus response.
WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?
The Experts Motive to discredit
Luke 10:25 (ESV)
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Luke 10:29 (ESV)
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
· Just to be clear that these questions were set to discredit Jesus
· Not genuine sincere and searching question for truth.
· Notice the challenge and self-justification in:
V25 …… 25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test..
V29 ……. Luke 10:29 (ESV)
29 But he, desiring to justify himself..
He wasn’t seeking truth he was arguing to prove himself right and Jesus wrong. BUT WHY?
The Reason to discredit Jesus
· Basically, because Jesus taught a very different even a radically different way of salvation and life that threatened there right and sense of entitlement. What did the Jews believe?
· The Jews believed that by being physical descendants of Abraham and working hard to keep the Law God would smile on them for their efforts and heritage and grant them eternal life.
· They were self-righteous, self-deserving of Gods salvation because of what they did and who they were.
· This led to discrimination that is grounded in a sense of entitlement, pride and superiority.
· Jesus dared challenge them.
· As we enter the arena of this parable we must ask ourselves do I feel superior and entitled do I at times look down on others and justify behavior that limits the amount of love and kindness I need to show? What would Jesus say If we were the ones he was challenging.
Jesus shows the fatal flaw and dismantles their right to Salvation by the Law
When Jesus says to him….in Luke 10:28 (ESV)
Luke 10:26–28 (ESV)
26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
· Jesus wasn’t agreeing with the expert of the law He was exposing a fundamental flaw.
· He was saying in effect if you can “do this” if you can keep the law you would be perfect and have no need of salvation. BUT YOU CANT … You can’t to this …
· In fact the law rather than saving you condemns you proving you to be a sinner in need of Gods saving grace. The law dismantles any entitlement or rights or privilege you think you might have leaving you totally at the mercy of God.
· We as Christians must be very careful to not display any sense of entitlement but rather humility and dependence upon God.
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?
The Expert’s view of Neighbour
Luke 10:29 (ESV)
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
· Again, here on the subject of loving ones neighbour the Jew differed greatly form Jesus radical love standards.
· Not only did the expert feel a sense of entitlement to salvation because He had the law and because he was a descendent of Abraham.
· His so called privileged entitled position did not require him to consider others better than himself.
· In fact it led to self-preservation, self-serving and selfish worldview one that would go so far and no further in fact he justified limits, boundaries, walls to compassion love and kindness.
· That’s why the Jews lived in a circular world, a bubble if you like.
o He placed himself at the centre.
o Surrounded by his immediate family.
o Then his extended family
o Then his national kinsmen his own race the Jews
o Then extending to the proselyte
o That’s as far as neighbour needed to extend
o In fact outside that circle one was expected to hate ones enemies and by association God’s enemies.
· Surely this would trap Jesus who by his very teaching and actions associated with tax collectors’ sinners Romans and Samaritans, enemies of God, surely not…. Jesus obviously had the wrong view of neighbour.
· Listen to the Jewish sentiment
o in John 8:48
John 8:48 (ESV)
48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”
o in John 4:9Remember the woman at the well.
John 4:9 (ESV)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
· No Jew was expected to love a Samaritan.
Surely now Jesus would see the error of his ways, but instead Jesus tells the parable of the good Samaritan. To illustrate that discrimination of any sort can never be justified for one calling himself a believer.
Jesus View of Neighbour
Lets walk through the parable proper and make some observation. The call to compassion intensifies from one stage to the next.
First Stage #1 RISK
Luke 10:30 (ESV)
30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.
· NEGATIVELY: There was RISK Involved:
o The Journey from Jerusalem to Jericho was a treacherous dangerous road beset by thieves and robbers waiting to ambush the innocent a hijacking hotspot.
o This in itself should raise our anxiety levels in anticipation of the worst.
o Surely RISK can be a valid excuse for limiting the amount of compassion I am expected to show. Surely RISK allows me to hurry on and pass by.
· POSITIVELY: We see the need for COMPASSION: here lies a man next to the road, in desperate need attacked, robbed, beaten, left for dead. Surely that should give rise for compassion. In spite of Risk.
Second Stage #2 Disappointing Neglect
Luke 10:31–32 (ESV)
31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
· Now here we find a striking twist of events as Jesus seeks to drive home a disappointing Neglect.
· Surely the Priest or the Levite spiritual leaders God fearing men, surely, they MUST stop and help this man.
· THEY PASS BY…
· We almost want to shout and say what kind of believer are you. This can’t be……..
There is nothing here that can justify the expert in the law. He must see our disappointment in the uncharacteristic behaviour of such spiritual leaders.
Third Stage #3 Shamed by an unlikely Hero
Luke 10:33–35 (ESV)
33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’
Finally, a third traveller arrives on the scene, the reader is literally waiting sitting on the edge of his seat waiting for the parable to reveal the hero the man of compassion.
· The Unlikely Hero: A Samaritan not a Priest not a Levite not a Jew is the hero who shows compassion. The most unlikely hero in the mind of a Jew.
· You can almost hear the cry of the Jew NO, NO the hero must be a Jew one of us.
· It should be but its not this twist in the story is designed to shame the lawyer that He a Jew has failed at being a neighbour to this man lying in the dust.
· Surely this shame must drive the Jew to reconsider his heart.
Fourth Stage 4# Limitless Compassion
Jesus presses the compassion lesson to new hights, compassion that goes the extra mile, compassion that sees others better than himself, extreme, radical Christlike limitless compassion.
· He went to him in contrast to the Jews who passed by…. he went to him recognising his need … HE DIDN’T STOP THERE, THERE IS MORE
· He bound up his wounds and treated them with soothing oil and wine. HE DIDN’T STOP THERE, THERE IS MORE
· He put him on his own animal and took him to an inn.. HE DIDN’T STOP THERE, THERE IS MORE
· He stayed and took care of his patient… HE DIDN’T STOP THERE, THERE IS MORE
· The next Day he gave two denarii in payment for the inn keeper to look after him… HE DIDN’T STOP THERE, THERE IS MORE
· If more is needed, I will repay when I come back
Luke 10:36–37 (ESV)
36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Now what about us. Surely its time To break down barriers, walls that divide and keep neigbours at manageable arm’s length and begin reaching out to my neighbour. Showing radical Christlike love. Not justifying limits but expanding them to love even my enemies. “You go, and do likewise.”