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Monday, February 8, 2010

The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37

The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37




Jesus told his followers many stories or parables; and the parable of the “Good Samaritan” was one of His many story lessons. We believe that our Lord gave us these lessons or parables to impart spiritual truths to us. Let’s look closer at this parable of the “Good Samaritan”. What is Jesus trying to teach us with this story?



First of all, Jesus told this parable in response to a lawyer who ask Him how one could inherit eternal life. Verse 25 states that the lawyer was trying to “test” Jesus. Did this lawyer really want to know the way to eternal life or was he just trying to trick our Lord? We aren’t sure. But Jesus asked the lawyer what the Scripture says. And the man answered with the rabbinic summary of Old Testament Law (Deut. 6:5)- that the way to eternal life is to “love the Lord our God with all of our heart and our soul and our strength and our mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves”. Jesus agreed that he had answered correctly. “Do all of this and you will live,” Jesus assured him. - Luke 10:28.



It sounds so straightforward and simple doesn’t it? The Old Testament Law –the Bible - spell it out, it tells us legally what we need to do to obtain eternal life;- but wait – think about it! Maybe it isn’t so easy after all to love your neighbor as yourself! “Who is my neighbor?” the man asked Jesus. Maybe the lawyer senses how difficult a task this would be. Does this lawyer suggest that there must be some folks to whom the obligation to love might not apply? Surely the ones we love as ourselves must have some worthiness for us to love them that totally; shouldn’t they? Surely the Jewish Law, with Jesus in agreement, isn’t saying that we need to love everybody in such a personal way, is it? And Jesus answers with His radical parable of the “Good Samaritan”.



`We all know this famous parable. What have we learned from it? I suppose that most of us feel that Jesus is teaching us in this parable to be like the Samaritan and to stop and help those we see who are in need. While the lawyer is quibbling over a definition of who is his “neighbor”, Jesus is telling him – and us- that love is not a matter of theoretical discussion, but of practical demonstration. We may say the right words and quote the correct verses. We may place the Ten Commandments on the front of our buildings. But if we don’t respond to our neighbors needs even when he doesn’t measure up – our religion isn’t worth much!



This parable may be saying more. Jesus tells us that a traveler is attacked by thieves and beaten up and left alone on the side of the road half dead. Soon a priest walks by, but surprisingly this man of God pretends not to see the wounded man. He passes on the other side of the road and doesn’t want to get involved. If he stopped to help he might be late for his religious service. And then another religious person comes along the road – a Levite. But alas, he also is too busy and doesn’t want to get involved. Jesus had not had good experiences with the religious leaders of His day – the priests and Levites. In fact they were the very ones who later plotted to kill Him.



The wounded man must be feeling desperate by now. Two men of God have passed him by. But wait, another person is coming along the path. Maybe there’s still hope! No, this one is a hated Samaritan – a man of a mongrel race and of a polluted religion. Everyone knew that Samaritans were heathens –they were enemies of the Jews. Why should this Samaritan stop and help his enemy?



But Jesus’ stories were always full of surprises. That is exactly what happened! The hated Samaritan had pity on this wounded man after his religious leaders had turned their backs on his need. The heathen Samaritan stopped and bound up his wounds and cleaned him and put him on his donkey. Then the Samaritan carried him on to the next village where they stopped at an inn for the night. The Samaritan spent the night at the inn with the wounded man, feeding and watching over him. And in the morning the Samaritan paid the innkeeper to take care of the wounded man until he could come back and check on him and his welfare.



“So which of the three was the neighbor to the wounded man?”. Jesus asked. “The one who stopped and helped”, the lawyer answered. “Go and do likewise.” Jesus instructed. Jesus is telling us here in this parable to reach out to the needy. That love is practical. That everyone is our neighbor and that we should help everyone. Without the Holy Spirit leading us and giving us the ability to love we would never be able to obey Christ’s command here. On our own we could never love everybody and reach out to the unlovable. But Jesus promises to be with us and help us.



It’s interesting that in this parable Jesus has the good religious leaders turning their backs on their needy brother, and the bad foreigner having compassion and doing the right thing! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Why does Jesus always shake up the status quo? Is He trying to tell us something? Is Jesus suggesting that just reading the Word and going to church isn’t enough if we don’t show compassion to the needy? Is He saying that even heathens who act in love and do the right thing are following Him even though they don’t know Him?. Let’s make sure we aren’t so busy going to church and saying the correct political and religions words that we overlook the wounded stranger laying right there in our path..-















The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37




Jesus told his followers many stories or parables; and the parable of the “Good Samaritan” was one of His many story lessons. We believe that our Lord gave us these lessons or parables to impart spiritual truths to us. Let’s look closer at this parable of the “Good Samaritan”. What is Jesus trying to teach us with this story?



First of all, Jesus told this parable in response to a lawyer who ask Him how one could inherit eternal life. Verse 25 states that the lawyer was trying to “test” Jesus. Did this lawyer really want to know the way to eternal life or was he just trying to trick our Lord? We aren’t sure. But Jesus asked the lawyer what the Scripture says. And the man answered with the rabbinic summary of Old Testament Law (Deut. 6:5)- that the way to eternal life is to “love the Lord our God with all of our heart and our soul and our strength and our mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves”. Jesus agreed that he had answered correctly. “Do all of this and you will live,” Jesus assured him. - Luke 10:28.



It sounds so straightforward and simple doesn’t it? The Old Testament Law –the Bible - spell it out, it tells us legally what we need to do to obtain eternal life;- but wait – think about it! Maybe it isn’t so easy after all to love your neighbor as yourself! “Who is my neighbor?” the man asked Jesus. Maybe the lawyer senses how difficult a task this would be. Does this lawyer suggest that there must be some folks to whom the obligation to love might not apply? Surely the ones we love as ourselves must have some worthiness for us to love them that totally; shouldn’t they? Surely the Jewish Law, with Jesus in agreement, isn’t saying that we need to love everybody in such a personal way, is it? And Jesus answers with His radical parable of the “Good Samaritan”.



`We all know this famous parable. What have we learned from it? I suppose that most of us feel that Jesus is teaching us in this parable to be like the Samaritan and to stop and help those we see who are in need. While the lawyer is quibbling over a definition of who is his “neighbor”, Jesus is telling him – and us- that love is not a matter of theoretical discussion, but of practical demonstration. We may say the right words and quote the correct verses. We may place the Ten Commandments on the front of our buildings. But if we don’t respond to our neighbors needs even when he doesn’t measure up – our religion isn’t worth much!



This parable may be saying more. Jesus tells us that a traveler is attacked by thieves and beaten up and left alone on the side of the road half dead. Soon a priest walks by, but surprisingly this man of God pretends not to see the wounded man. He passes on the other side of the road and doesn’t want to get involved. If he stopped to help he might be late for his religious service. And then another religious person comes along the road – a Levite. But alas, he also is too busy and doesn’t want to get involved. Jesus had not had good experiences with the religious leaders of His day – the priests and Levites. In fact they were the very ones who later plotted to kill Him.



The wounded man must be feeling desperate by now. Two men of God have passed him by. But wait, another person is coming along the path. Maybe there’s still hope! No, this one is a hated Samaritan – a man of a mongrel race and of a polluted religion. Everyone knew that Samaritans were heathens –they were enemies of the Jews. Why should this Samaritan stop and help his enemy?



But Jesus’ stories were always full of surprises. That is exactly what happened! The hated Samaritan had pity on this wounded man after his religious leaders had turned their backs on his need. The heathen Samaritan stopped and bound up his wounds and cleaned him and put him on his donkey. Then the Samaritan carried him on to the next village where they stopped at an inn for the night. The Samaritan spent the night at the inn with the wounded man, feeding and watching over him. And in the morning the Samaritan paid the innkeeper to take care of the wounded man until he could come back and check on him and his welfare.



“So which of the three was the neighbor to the wounded man?”. Jesus asked. “The one who stopped and helped”, the lawyer answered. “Go and do likewise.” Jesus instructed. Jesus is telling us here in this parable to reach out to the needy. That love is practical. That everyone is our neighbor and that we should help everyone. Without the Holy Spirit leading us and giving us the ability to love we would never be able to obey Christ’s command here. On our own we could never love everybody and reach out to the unlovable. But Jesus promises to be with us and help us.



It’s interesting that in this parable Jesus has the good religious leaders turning their backs on their needy brother, and the bad foreigner having compassion and doing the right thing! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Why does Jesus always shake up the status quo? Is He trying to tell us something? Is Jesus suggesting that just reading the Word and going to church isn’t enough if we don’t show compassion to the needy? Is He saying that even heathens who act in love and do the right thing are following Him even though they don’t know Him?. Let’s make sure we aren’t so busy going to church and saying the correct political and religions words that we overlook the wounded stranger laying right there in our path..-















The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37




Jesus told his followers many stories or parables; and the parable of the “Good Samaritan” was one of His many story lessons. We believe that our Lord gave us these lessons or parables to impart spiritual truths to us. Let’s look closer at this parable of the “Good Samaritan”. What is Jesus trying to teach us with this story?



First of all, Jesus told this parable in response to a lawyer who ask Him how one could inherit eternal life. Verse 25 states that the lawyer was trying to “test” Jesus. Did this lawyer really want to know the way to eternal life or was he just trying to trick our Lord? We aren’t sure. But Jesus asked the lawyer what the Scripture says. And the man answered with the rabbinic summary of Old Testament Law (Deut. 6:5)- that the way to eternal life is to “love the Lord our God with all of our heart and our soul and our strength and our mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves”. Jesus agreed that he had answered correctly. “Do all of this and you will live,” Jesus assured him. - Luke 10:28.



It sounds so straightforward and simple doesn’t it? The Old Testament Law –the Bible - spell it out, it tells us legally what we need to do to obtain eternal life;- but wait – think about it! Maybe it isn’t so easy after all to love your neighbor as yourself! “Who is my neighbor?” the man asked Jesus. Maybe the lawyer senses how difficult a task this would be. Does this lawyer suggest that there must be some folks to whom the obligation to love might not apply? Surely the ones we love as ourselves must have some worthiness for us to love them that totally; shouldn’t they? Surely the Jewish Law, with Jesus in agreement, isn’t saying that we need to love everybody in such a personal way, is it? And Jesus answers with His radical parable of the “Good Samaritan”.



`We all know this famous parable. What have we learned from it? I suppose that most of us feel that Jesus is teaching us in this parable to be like the Samaritan and to stop and help those we see who are in need. While the lawyer is quibbling over a definition of who is his “neighbor”, Jesus is telling him – and us- that love is not a matter of theoretical discussion, but of practical demonstration. We may say the right words and quote the correct verses. We may place the Ten Commandments on the front of our buildings. But if we don’t respond to our neighbors needs even when he doesn’t measure up – our religion isn’t worth much!



This parable may be saying more. Jesus tells us that a traveler is attacked by thieves and beaten up and left alone on the side of the road half dead. Soon a priest walks by, but surprisingly this man of God pretends not to see the wounded man. He passes on the other side of the road and doesn’t want to get involved. If he stopped to help he might be late for his religious service. And then another religious person comes along the road – a Levite. But alas, he also is too busy and doesn’t want to get involved. Jesus had not had good experiences with the religious leaders of His day – the priests and Levites. In fact they were the very ones who later plotted to kill Him.



The wounded man must be feeling desperate by now. Two men of God have passed him by. But wait, another person is coming along the path. Maybe there’s still hope! No, this one is a hated Samaritan – a man of a mongrel race and of a polluted religion. Everyone knew that Samaritans were heathens –they were enemies of the Jews. Why should this Samaritan stop and help his enemy?



But Jesus’ stories were always full of surprises. That is exactly what happened! The hated Samaritan had pity on this wounded man after his religious leaders had turned their backs on his need. The heathen Samaritan stopped and bound up his wounds and cleaned him and put him on his donkey. Then the Samaritan carried him on to the next village where they stopped at an inn for the night. The Samaritan spent the night at the inn with the wounded man, feeding and watching over him. And in the morning the Samaritan paid the innkeeper to take care of the wounded man until he could come back and check on him and his welfare.



“So which of the three was the neighbor to the wounded man?”. Jesus asked. “The one who stopped and helped”, the lawyer answered. “Go and do likewise.” Jesus instructed. Jesus is telling us here in this parable to reach out to the needy. That love is practical. That everyone is our neighbor and that we should help everyone. Without the Holy Spirit leading us and giving us the ability to love we would never be able to obey Christ’s command here. On our own we could never love everybody and reach out to the unlovable. But Jesus promises to be with us and help us.



It’s interesting that in this parable Jesus has the good religious leaders turning their backs on their needy brother, and the bad foreigner having compassion and doing the right thing! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Why does Jesus always shake up the status quo? Is He trying to tell us something? Is Jesus suggesting that just reading the Word and going to church isn’t enough if we don’t show compassion to the needy? Is He saying that even heathens who act in love and do the right thing are following Him even though they don’t know Him?. Let’s make sure we aren’t so busy going to church and saying the correct political and religions words that we overlook the wounded stranger laying right there in our path..-















The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37




Jesus told his followers many stories or parables; and the parable of the “Good Samaritan” was one of His many story lessons. We believe that our Lord gave us these lessons or parables to impart spiritual truths to us. Let’s look closer at this parable of the “Good Samaritan”. What is Jesus trying to teach us with this story?



First of all, Jesus told this parable in response to a lawyer who ask Him how one could inherit eternal life. Verse 25 states that the lawyer was trying to “test” Jesus. Did this lawyer really want to know the way to eternal life or was he just trying to trick our Lord? We aren’t sure. But Jesus asked the lawyer what the Scripture says. And the man answered with the rabbinic summary of Old Testament Law (Deut. 6:5)- that the way to eternal life is to “love the Lord our God with all of our heart and our soul and our strength and our mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves”. Jesus agreed that he had answered correctly. “Do all of this and you will live,” Jesus assured him. - Luke 10:28.



It sounds so straightforward and simple doesn’t it? The Old Testament Law –the Bible - spell it out, it tells us legally what we need to do to obtain eternal life;- but wait – think about it! Maybe it isn’t so easy after all to love your neighbor as yourself! “Who is my neighbor?” the man asked Jesus. Maybe the lawyer senses how difficult a task this would be. Does this lawyer suggest that there must be some folks to whom the obligation to love might not apply? Surely the ones we love as ourselves must have some worthiness for us to love them that totally; shouldn’t they? Surely the Jewish Law, with Jesus in agreement, isn’t saying that we need to love everybody in such a personal way, is it? And Jesus answers with His radical parable of the “Good Samaritan”.



`We all know this famous parable. What have we learned from it? I suppose that most of us feel that Jesus is teaching us in this parable to be like the Samaritan and to stop and help those we see who are in need. While the lawyer is quibbling over a definition of who is his “neighbor”, Jesus is telling him – and us- that love is not a matter of theoretical discussion, but of practical demonstration. We may say the right words and quote the correct verses. We may place the Ten Commandments on the front of our buildings. But if we don’t respond to our neighbors needs even when he doesn’t measure up – our religion isn’t worth much!



This parable may be saying more. Jesus tells us that a traveler is attacked by thieves and beaten up and left alone on the side of the road half dead. Soon a priest walks by, but surprisingly this man of God pretends not to see the wounded man. He passes on the other side of the road and doesn’t want to get involved. If he stopped to help he might be late for his religious service. And then another religious person comes along the road – a Levite. But alas, he also is too busy and doesn’t want to get involved. Jesus had not had good experiences with the religious leaders of His day – the priests and Levites. In fact they were the very ones who later plotted to kill Him.



The wounded man must be feeling desperate by now. Two men of God have passed him by. But wait, another person is coming along the path. Maybe there’s still hope! No, this one is a hated Samaritan – a man of a mongrel race and of a polluted religion. Everyone knew that Samaritans were heathens –they were enemies of the Jews. Why should this Samaritan stop and help his enemy?



But Jesus’ stories were always full of surprises. That is exactly what happened! The hated Samaritan had pity on this wounded man after his religious leaders had turned their backs on his need. The heathen Samaritan stopped and bound up his wounds and cleaned him and put him on his donkey. Then the Samaritan carried him on to the next village where they stopped at an inn for the night. The Samaritan spent the night at the inn with the wounded man, feeding and watching over him. And in the morning the Samaritan paid the innkeeper to take care of the wounded man until he could come back and check on him and his welfare.



“So which of the three was the neighbor to the wounded man?”. Jesus asked. “The one who stopped and helped”, the lawyer answered. “Go and do likewise.” Jesus instructed. Jesus is telling us here in this parable to reach out to the needy. That love is practical. That everyone is our neighbor and that we should help everyone. Without the Holy Spirit leading us and giving us the ability to love we would never be able to obey Christ’s command here. On our own we could never love everybody and reach out to the unlovable. But Jesus promises to be with us and help us.



It’s interesting that in this parable Jesus has the good religious leaders turning their backs on their needy brother, and the bad foreigner having compassion and doing the right thing! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Why does Jesus always shake up the status quo? Is He trying to tell us something? Is Jesus suggesting that just reading the Word and going to church isn’t enough if we don’t show compassion to the needy? Is He saying that even heathens who act in love and do the right thing are following Him even though they don’t know Him?. Let’s make sure we aren’t so busy going to church and saying the correct political and religions words that we overlook the wounded stranger laying right there in our path..-















The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37




Jesus told his followers many stories or parables; and the parable of the “Good Samaritan” was one of His many story lessons. We believe that our Lord gave us these lessons or parables to impart spiritual truths to us. Let’s look closer at this parable of the “Good Samaritan”. What is Jesus trying to teach us with this story?



First of all, Jesus told this parable in response to a lawyer who ask Him how one could inherit eternal life. Verse 25 states that the lawyer was trying to “test” Jesus. Did this lawyer really want to know the way to eternal life or was he just trying to trick our Lord? We aren’t sure. But Jesus asked the lawyer what the Scripture says. And the man answered with the rabbinic summary of Old Testament Law (Deut. 6:5)- that the way to eternal life is to “love the Lord our God with all of our heart and our soul and our strength and our mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves”. Jesus agreed that he had answered correctly. “Do all of this and you will live,” Jesus assured him. - Luke 10:28.



It sounds so straightforward and simple doesn’t it? The Old Testament Law –the Bible - spell it out, it tells us legally what we need to do to obtain eternal life;- but wait – think about it! Maybe it isn’t so easy after all to love your neighbor as yourself! “Who is my neighbor?” the man asked Jesus. Maybe the lawyer senses how difficult a task this would be. Does this lawyer suggest that there must be some folks to whom the obligation to love might not apply? Surely the ones we love as ourselves must have some worthiness for us to love them that totally; shouldn’t they? Surely the Jewish Law, with Jesus in agreement, isn’t saying that we need to love everybody in such a personal way, is it? And Jesus answers with His radical parable of the “Good Samaritan”.



`We all know this famous parable. What have we learned from it? I suppose that most of us feel that Jesus is teaching us in this parable to be like the Samaritan and to stop and help those we see who are in need. While the lawyer is quibbling over a definition of who is his “neighbor”, Jesus is telling him – and us- that love is not a matter of theoretical discussion, but of practical demonstration. We may say the right words and quote the correct verses. We may place the Ten Commandments on the front of our buildings. But if we don’t respond to our neighbors needs even when he doesn’t measure up – our religion isn’t worth much!



This parable may be saying more. Jesus tells us that a traveler is attacked by thieves and beaten up and left alone on the side of the road half dead. Soon a priest walks by, but surprisingly this man of God pretends not to see the wounded man. He passes on the other side of the road and doesn’t want to get involved. If he stopped to help he might be late for his religious service. And then another religious person comes along the road – a Levite. But alas, he also is too busy and doesn’t want to get involved. Jesus had not had good experiences with the religious leaders of His day – the priests and Levites. In fact they were the very ones who later plotted to kill Him.



The wounded man must be feeling desperate by now. Two men of God have passed him by. But wait, another person is coming along the path. Maybe there’s still hope! No, this one is a hated Samaritan – a man of a mongrel race and of a polluted religion. Everyone knew that Samaritans were heathens –they were enemies of the Jews. Why should this Samaritan stop and help his enemy?



But Jesus’ stories were always full of surprises. That is exactly what happened! The hated Samaritan had pity on this wounded man after his religious leaders had turned their backs on his need. The heathen Samaritan stopped and bound up his wounds and cleaned him and put him on his donkey. Then the Samaritan carried him on to the next village where they stopped at an inn for the night. The Samaritan spent the night at the inn with the wounded man, feeding and watching over him. And in the morning the Samaritan paid the innkeeper to take care of the wounded man until he could come back and check on him and his welfare.



“So which of the three was the neighbor to the wounded man?”. Jesus asked. “The one who stopped and helped”, the lawyer answered. “Go and do likewise.” Jesus instructed. Jesus is telling us here in this parable to reach out to the needy. That love is practical. That everyone is our neighbor and that we should help everyone. Without the Holy Spirit leading us and giving us the ability to love we would never be able to obey Christ’s command here. On our own we could never love everybody and reach out to the unlovable. But Jesus promises to be with us and help us.



It’s interesting that in this parable Jesus has the good religious leaders turning their backs on their needy brother, and the bad foreigner having compassion and doing the right thing! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Why does Jesus always shake up the status quo? Is He trying to tell us something? Is Jesus suggesting that just reading the Word and going to church isn’t enough if we don’t show compassion to the needy? Is He saying that even heathens who act in love and do the right thing are following Him even though they don’t know Him?. Let’s make sure we aren’t so busy going to church and saying the correct political and religions words that we overlook the wounded stranger laying right there in our path..-

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