John T. Willis

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Parable of the Merciful Samaritan--Luke 10:25-37

After Jesus' prayer to his heavenly Father and instructions to his disciples, a lawyer tested Jesus, and Jesus responded by giving the Parable of the Merciful Samaritan. This appears in Luke 10:25-37, and falls into two parts. I. The Lawyer tests Jesus. Luke 10:25-28. a. Shortly after Jesus gave instructions to his disciples, a Jewish lawyer stood up to test Jesus. He addressed Jesus as TEACHER, and asked: "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus responded by saying: "What do you read in the Law of Moses?" Thus, instead of answering the lawyer's question, Jesus challenges the lawyer to answer his own question. Now, whose time must answer this question? Luke 10:25-26. b. The lawyer answered: Love God with all your being [which comes from Deuteronomy 6:4-9), and love your neighbor as yourself (which comes from Leviticus 19:18; see Galatians 5:14; Romans 13:9; James 2:8). The lawyer may have assumed that the second commandment is to love a fellow-Jew or a fellow-Israelite. Jesus replied: Your answer is correct; so DO this and you will LIVE. 10:27-28. II. Jesus states the Parable of the Merciful Samaritan. Luke 10:29-37. a. The lawyer responded to Jesus to attempt to justify himself: "Who is my neighbor?" The lawyer wanted to show he was right in posing the question he had originally proposed to Jesus. 10:29. b. Jesus responded by giving a stunning parable consisting of three groups of people, which typify people living here on planet earth. 1. The first group of people was ROBBERS. As a Jewish man was going down from Jerusalem (over 2500 feet above sea level) about 18 miles to Jericho (770 feet below sea level; NOTE: this is NOT the Old Testament Jericho, which is Tell es-Sultan, but the town founded by Herod the Great about a miole and half to the south on the western edge of the Jordan Plain where the Wadi Qelt open on to it which is Tulul Abu el-`Alayiq) on rocky and desert territory, robbers attacked this man, stripped him of his clothes, beat him, leaving his half dead. At a distance, travelers would assume this person was a corpse. ROBBERS have this attitude: What you have is mine, and I will take it. Unfortunately, many people on earth have this same attitude. 10:30. 2. The second group of people are a priest and a Levite. A priest who probably had been serving in the Jerusalem temple was traveling back to his home from Jerusalem to Jericho or beyond. This priest saw the wounded man and passed by on the other side, probably thinking this is a corpse, and to touch a corpse is contrary to the Law of Moses (see Numbers 5:2; 19:2-13). This would contaminate a priest. Later, a Levite was travelling and he also passed by when the saw the wounded man. The PRIEST and the LEVITE have this attitude: What I have is mine and I will keep it. Unfortunately, many people, even in the church, have this same attitude. This is MINE, I deserve it; YOU cannot have it. 10:31-32. 3. The third type of person is the Samaritan. In the first century CE-AD, Jews normally considered Samaritans as almost pagans. John 4:9 says: "Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans." YET, when a Samaritan was traveling along this same road and saw the wounded JEWISH man, "he was moved with pity." He is nothing thinking of this man as a JEW, but as a HUMAN BEING made in the image of God [see Genesis 1:26-27]. Thus, the Samaritan did the normal thing: he bandaged the wounds of the Jewish man. He poured oil on the wounds because olive oil softens wounds (Isaiah 1:6). He poured wine on the wounds as an antiseptic. Then the Samaritan put the wounded Jewish man on his animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day, the Samaritan gave the owner of the inn some money (two denarii, which is two days' wage for a laborer), told the innkeeper to take care of the Jewish man, and when the Samaritan he returns, he will pay the innkeeper any more money he needs. The attitude of the Samaritan is: What is mine is yours, and I will share it with you. This is the ONLY acceptable attitude of a follower of God through Jesus Christ. 10: 33-35. c. Jesus then asked the lawyer: "Which of these three was the neighbor to the man who was attacked by the robbers?" The lawyer responded: "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus responded: "Go and DO likewise." The Samaritan was MERCIFUL. And this is the ONLY right attitude of the heart. Often, so-called non-Christians put Christians to shame because of the way they ACT. Our actions are clear expressions of the heart. And God is concerned with the heart. 10:36-37. This message of God through Jesus Christ is central for God's people. How do we think of other people? How do we act toward other people? This is what REALLY matters. Share YOUR insights and thoughts and concerns and feelings with others. Let me hear from YOU. John Willis


Post a Comment

<< Home