The Good Samaritan

28 February 2021 AM – Luke 10:25-37 – Parables21 – Scott Childs
Introduction: On one occasion, a religious lawyer or a Jewish Bible scholar asked Jesus a question to tempt or test His theology. Follow along as I read the account in Luke 10:25-28.
            After hearing Jesus’ answer, we read … (v.29). Jesus then told the parable of the Good Samaritan answering the question, “Who is my neighbour?
Transition: In this parable, we are going to look at the main characters as we uncover the main truth that God wants us to apply.
  1. The Robbers (3 main points by Hampton Keathley)
a.         Their victim (v.10)
1)         Jesus simply identified the mas as a “certain man”, most likely Jewish, who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. (use map)
2)         Jericho was situated about 23 km to the northeast of Jerusalem. Jericho was also 748 m below Jerusalem.
3)         Commentators tell us, “Thence he proceeds through the road, once the channel of a stream and now a deep ravine; and at about 16 km from the city he enters that gloomy road through the desert wilderness called by St. Jerome the bloody way, and which from that time to the present has been the haunt of Arab and other robbers.” (Whedon) “There was always a possibility when travelling the mountain roads of Palestine of meeting robbers and bandits, and it was especially so on this road, as it twisted and turned through rocky mountainous country, … which descended rapidly to Jericho and provided many good places of ambush. And many a Jew had been found lying in this mountain road, either dead or dying, stripped of all his possessions.” (Peter Pett)
4)         Such was the fate of the robber’s victim in this story.
b.         Their villainy (v.10)
1)         Jesus said that the man fell among thieves. Literally, thieves surrounded him.
2)         They stripped him of his clothes, and obviously of any other valuables he had with him.
3)         They wounded him, departed and left him half dead.
2.        The Religious
a.         The priest (v.31)
1)         The priest was a spiritual leader in Israel. Of all people, he should have been first to help others in need.
2)         The phrase “came down” indicates that the priest was travelling from Jerusalem down the descent to Jericho. He may have lived in Jericho as many priests did.
3)         He saw the half-dead man in the road and passed by on the other side.
b.         The Levite (v.32)
1)         Levites were temple workers who assisted the priests. It was their duty to keep the sacred utensils and the temple clean, to provide the sacred loaves, to open and shut the gates of the temple, to sing the sacred hymns in the temple, and to do many other things. (Thayer)
2)         Sometime after the priest, the Levite also saw the half-dead man. He came to the man and looked at him, but then passed by on the other side.
3)         The actions of these two men showed that, though they were religious, they were not righteous.
3.        The Righteous
a.         The Samaritan
1)         Jesus chose a Samaritan for the next character.
2)         Samaritans were Jews who had intermarried with Gentiles who came to live among them after the Assyrians conquered Israel. Thus, the Jews despised the Samaritans.
b.         His sympathy
1)         The Samaritan travelled the same road on his journey (v.33). However, when he came to the man and saw his condition, he had compassion on the man. This is the only time in the Bible that the word “compassion” is not directly applied to the Lord. Perhaps, Jesus saw Himself as the Samaritan in His parable.
2)         He then went to the wounded man (v.34).
a)         He bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, common medicine of that day.
b)         He then set the man on his own beast and took him to an inn. We have no way of knowing how far he had to travel to find an inn.
c)         The remainder of that day and night, he cared for the man (v.35).
d)         When he left, he paid the innkeeper, asked him to care for the man, promising to pay the rest of the bill when he returned (v.35). Today, we might say that he gave him his VISA details.
4.        The Result
a.         Jesus’ question
1)         Which man acted like a neighbour (v.36)?
2)         The lawyer did not say, “the Samaritan”. He may not have wanted the distasteful word to cross his lips. Instead, he said, “He that showed mercy on him.”
3)         Jesus told him to go and do likewise (v.37).
4)         Was Jesus saying that acting like the good Samaritan would gain that person eternal life? No!
5)         He had already answered that question in v.27. The OT Law required perfection – perfect love for God and perfect love for neighbours. Jesus said that any person who could keep the OT Law perfectly would have eternal life (v.28). However, Jesus knew that no human could keep the whole law perfectly. The lawyer was about to learn that self-righteousness was not the solution.
6)         No human is capable of earning eternal life. That is the very reason Jesus came to this earth. In Luke 5:32, Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
b.         Jesus’ application
1)         We have a Christian obligation to offer help to those who are genuinely in need. The half-dead man in the parable was not just a lazy, deceitful beggar as some are today. He had a genuine need. We ought not to pass by on the other side when we can help someone who is in genuine need.
2)         The Good Samaritan was motivated by compassion. Deep within his heart, love and pity stirred him to help his enemy. Often, we lack genuine compassion for others. Jesus said (Matthew 7:12) “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” May God give us more compassion!
3)         The Samaritan man was a picture of the Lord Jesus. In John 8:48, Jesus’ religious enemies actually called Him a Samaritan. Above all others, Jesus was a man of compassion. Though despised by men, Jesus truly loved, pitied and cared for spiritually dying sinners. He paid for our eternal healing by His death and resurrection. This is something that no religion or religious person can do for us. If you have not personally received the eternal life Christ offers, do so today. You will never regret it.
Conclusion: The robber’s attitude was, “What’s yours is mine, and I’m going to take it.” The Priest/Levite’s attitude was, “What’s mine is mine, and I’m going to keep it.” The Samaritan’s attitude was, “What’s mine is yours, and I’m going to share it.” (Keathley) What kind of attitude do you have toward those in genuine need? Do you need to change your attitude? Do you need more compassion like the good Samaritan and like Christ?
            Many around us are spiritually dying. They are genuinely in need of the Gospel message that Jesus died and rose again to give them life. Often, we do not see their spiritually broken and bleeding lives. We tend to forget that sin has robbed them of all hope of eternal life. If we pass them on the other side, they may die and go to hell forever. God has placed us in their path that we might compassionately lend them a hand and tell them of Jesus’ love.
            Perhaps you are like the victim in the parable. Your sinful life has robbed you and left you dying spiritually. You need Christ’s compassion and healing. He loves you and wants to help you if you will let Him. I would be delighted to help you if you will ask.
Song: His Way with Thee – 367