We have all heard the parable of the Good Samaritan. We are going to show you today three things this parable has in common with our ministry.
Luke 10:25-37 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, what is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, and who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise, a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, 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 on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
We have all heard the parable of the Good Samaritan. We have probably even heard different versions of it or different takes of it.
We are in a situation where a legal expert, sometimes referred to as a Scribe, tries to test Jesus on inheriting eternal life. Jesus speaks first of loving God, but a close second is loving people.
As the lawyer, legal expert, pushes the issue, Jesus uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate the core principles of His ministry. It must be noted here that this parable is unique to Luke’s Gospel.
We pick up at verse 30, where we learn that the journey from Jerusalem to Jericho drops 3500 feet over a span of ten miles. In other words, one might say that patch might be rough going.
We learn from verse 30, that a certain man, possibly a poor Jew, ran into a group of thieves on this journey from Jerusalem to Jericho. They not only stole from him, but they beat him to within an inch of his life and left him to die.
A certain priest, who refers to a religious leader of Israel. They mainly perform sacrifices, maintain the temples, and provided instruction much like our pastors do today. The certain priest who may have been leaving Jerusalem or the temple going down the road saw the man in distressed but passed by on the other side of the road.
Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; And that which he hath given will he pay him again.
The certain priest was obviously not concerned with the man in need of assistance or his obligations to the Priesthood.
Next to wander down this rough patch was a Levite which refers to a member of the tribe Levi. They perform various functions in the temple. He also passed on the other side.
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
The third party was a Samaritan. The irony in this was that Samaritans and Jews despised each other. The people of Samaria were of mixed Israelite and foreign descent and the Jewish people did not accept them as part of the Jewish community.
John 4:9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, how is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
However, this Samaritan had compassion. With the first two that pass by on the other side, this put them in a negative light while the Samaritan willing to help was a positive moment. This highlights the term neighbor and focuses on how far we should go and that it should be extended to all people. This demonstrates Help.
The Samaritan doesn’t stop there but he continues by pouring olive oil and wine over the stranger which promotes healing and to prevent infection. Then he takes out two denarii, worth about $2.60 today. Back in that time, that amount of money would have paid about 2 months at the inn indicating how bad the wounds were. A man robbed of his clothes, beaten to near death, but now recuperating in an inn paid for by a stranger demonstrates Hope.
Romans 5:2-5 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
You take the kindness of the Samaritan helping the man, then giving the man help, hope, but he also demonstrated the quality of being worth of honor or respect. In other words, he did with Dignity.
Titus 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
The one that shown mercy to the poor Jew in Jesus’ parable prompts the lawyer to consider what it means to be a neighbor to someone rather than how to identify who is to be considered a neighbor. It is noted that this conversation is like a conversation Jesus had with Simon the Pharisee:
Luke 7:39-43 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, this man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, thou hast rightly judged.
Jesus closes the parable telling the those listening that you are to go do likewise. It is implied that all people are to be treated as neighbors with mercy & compassion. Treat all with Help, Hope, & Dignity.
Now let’s bring this parable into this day and age. How many of us have passed someone in need of assistance (say a homeless person) by crossing the street or boldly just keep on walking right pass them. Now I am not saying that you help all nor am I saying that all need help. But Jesus does tell us to help our neighbors with mercy & compassion.
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Deuteronomy 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore, I command thee, saying, thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
Help, Hope, & Dignity – God’s Wishes