A thing Jesus was happy about was he got to reveal God to us. Jesus was stoked and full of joy because Father, Lord of heaven and earth was revealing the things of the kingdom of God to all people. Even little children can get it. We don’t need to be a Bible scholar. The Samaritans got it. The Good Samaritan neighbor story is coming. We don’t need to be a Jew. Satan can’t blind or stop anyone from seeing the things of the kingdom. We learn it’s totally up to Father to reveal hidden things and it’s up to Jesus to reveal the Father.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 10

Joy, neighbor, and the Good Samaritan – Luke 10:21-37

By Delbert Young

Joy, neighbor, and the Good Samaritan - video audio notes

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Jesus, Joy, and the Good Samaritan – Luke 10:21-37

Scriptures: Luke 10:21-22; Luke 10:23-24; Luke 10:25; Luke 10:26-28; Luke 10:27; Luke 10:29; Luke 10:30-35; Luke 10:36-37

The teams Jesus sent out returned successful and with joy excited because demons must submit to them. Jesus said he saw Satan fall from heaven. “AT THAT TIME” and with that victory the Bibles says, “Jesus was full of Joy.”

Luke 10:21 At that time JESUS, FULL OF JOY

Jesus was overcome with joy. The word translated full of joy is agalliao {ag-al-lee-ah’-o} – to exult – take pride, gloat, triumph, wallow – rejoice exceedingly, be exceeding glad. I have this picture in my study I want to show you. Don Dowda gave it to me years ago. (Picture of Jesus laughing). When people see it, they do a double take. We just don’t think of Jesus laughing. I see Jesus pumping his fist in triumph maybe trotting around giving high-fives! What do people do when they are full of joy after victory? What do you do? I laugh, yes, but there’s usually more external expression. What did the players for San Francisco do when they won the World Series? I want us to see Jesus felt victory.

The disciples returned with joy, but Jesus was full of joy and the happiest person in these verses. Should church be a happy, fun time? Church is a victory! Praise is victory! The kingdom of God is a happy victorious place (Rom 14:17).

Luke 10:21 At that time JESUS, FULL OF JOY through the Holy Spirit, said, “I PRAISE YOU, Father, LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, because…

We’ll talk about the reason he was so happy shortly, but a response to joy is praise. It’s sad to see Christians who can’t praise God. I want to ask where their joy is. Praise is spontaneous when we have a joyful heart.

But why was Jesus so full of joy? He was on the way to Judea where he would again experience some short term success, but then be further rejected, beaten, spit upon, scourged, crucified, and die, yet Jesus was full of joy. What was he so happy about?

Luke 10:21-22 At that time JESUS, FULL OF JOY through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, BECAUSE YOU HAVE HIDDEN THESE THINGS FROM THE WISE AND LEARNED, AND REVEALED THEM TO LITTLE CHILDREN. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. ALL THINGS HAVE BEEN COMMITTED TO ME BY MY FATHER. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is EXCEPT THE SON AND THOSE TO WHOM THE SON CHOOSES TO REVEAL HIM.”

This is just a thought, but Jesus said, “All things have been committed to me by my Father.” How much does that leave committed to Satan, or the devil, or the Antichrist?

A thing Jesus was so happy about was he gets to reveal God to us. Jesus was stoked and full of joy because Father, Lord of heaven and earth was revealing the things of the kingdom of God to all people. Even little children can get it. We don’t need to be a Bible scholar. They were likely in Samaria at this time and the Samaritans got it. We don’t need to be a Jew. Satan can’t blind or stop anyone from seeing the things of the kingdom. He’s cast down. It’s totally up to Father to reveal hidden things and it’s up to Jesus to reveal the Father, right?

Sometimes I get upset with people when they can’t get the things of the kingdom and they can’t see Jesus Christ and they don’t love God. I have to remind myself people can’t see until Father reveals the kingdom and until Jesus reveals Father.

Luke 10:23-24 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “BLESSED ARE THE EYES THAT SEE WHAT YOU SEE. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Its interesting Jesus had to tell them they were blessed. They were seeing it and chosen to participate in it. He has to tell us we’re blessed. We lose this revelation and somehow think we do God a favor when the entire time its God blessing us. We take much for granted. Do we realize how privileged we are to know Jesus, to know Father God, and to know the Holy Spirit? How blessed are we if our names are written in heaven? There’s a lot of crazy things happening in the world and in our lives, but when we sit back and place things into God’s perspective, we see how truly blessed we are.

You can’t save yourself by thinking you make the decision to know God. Jesus is the Savior. All things have been given him – including your salvation. If God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has been revealed to you, BLESSED ARE THE EYES THAT SEE WHAT YOU SEE.

Jesus said Father has hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Delbert, that’s not how I’ve been taught. Are you certain I don’t get to decide? I understand, so Luke here places this next story. The Pharisees were not taught this way either. A self-proclaimed expert in the law decided to test Jesus on this.

Luke 10:25 On one occasion an EXPERT IN THE LAW stood up to TEST Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “What must I do to INHERIT eternal life?”

Great question, but totally contrary to what Jesus just said. He’s saying if it’s “hidden from me” then “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Is eternal life inherited? Is it my right?

How many of us have tried this test? We come up with our own solutions for “inheriting” eternal life – pray a prayer, go to church, think God owes it to us. This expert thought eternal life was inherited. He was a Jew so it was owed him. Everyone has their answer. What’s your answer? What is it you think you need to do to inherit eternal life?

Have you ever done this – test Jesus? Sure you have. We do it all the time. We test Jesus with words we say and with our actions. We test to see if we can get by with something when we already know the answer. Don’t test Jesus. He will always turn the test on you.

So, this expert gave his “test.” I don’t know what it was he expected Jesus to answer. Doesn’t seem like much of a test to me, but how Jesus responded is interesting. Jesus reversed the test. Jesus, as it were, said “You know so much. You tell me ‘How do you read it?'”

Luke 10:26-28 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “HOW DO YOU READ IT?”

Jesus will ask us, “How do you read it?” Sadly, most Christians don’t know. We’re such experts on life yet don’t know what the Bible actually says about what is testing our life. What does it say about your marriage, your children, your health, your relationships, your occupation, your finances, and on and on?

Luke 10:27 He answered: “‘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, ‘LOVE your neighbor as yourself.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.”

The expert answered correctly. Jesus said he did. The correct answer to “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” is love, but I can’t love God unless God’s revealed to me by Jesus. My eternal life hinges on what I love. We humans were made to love. God has wired us to love. We write about love. We dream about love. We sing about love. Love is important to every human. To many it’s an ideologue rather than an experience, looking for love in all the wrong places.

Johnny Lee sang the title song “Looking for Love” for the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy staring John Travolta. The lyrics are: “I’ve spent a lifetime looking for you; Single bars and good time lovers, never true; Playing a fools game, hoping to win; Telling those sweet lies and losing again.

 I was looking for love in all the wrong places; Looking for love in too many faces; Searching your eyes, looking for traces; Of what.. I’m dreaming of…; Hopin’ to find a friend and a lover; God bless the day I discover; Another heart, lookin’ for love…”

We look for love in all the wrong places. We never find “love” until we love God. “God is love” (1Jn 4:8). To get love right, you must first love God right – with ALL your human faculties – all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.

Also, I must love people – my neighbor as myself. What does that mean? I do for people what I would do for myself. Honestly, it’s frequently easier to love an invisible God than love some people. Jesus realizing this said, “Great answer!” “Do this and you will live.”

Luke 10:29 But he wanted to JUSTIFY HIMSELF, so he asked Jesus, “And WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?”

When we justify ourselves, we are attempting to prove ourselves right even when we know we are wrong. The word for justify is dikaioo {dik-ah-yo’-o} – to show, exhibit one to be righteous. Have you ever been there? You knew you were wrong, but attempted to twist it to make yourself appear right?

“Who is my neighbor?” That’s another very good question. Isn’t this a question you and I need to settle? Exactly who am I expected to love according to God? Is my neighbor the person next door? Is my neighbor my relatives, or friends? Is my neighbor those of my skin pigmentation, or nationality? We experts look for limitations on who is our neighbor. We say, “Let’s put some boundaries on this neighbor/love thing.”

Luke 10:30-35 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A PRIEST happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a LEVITE, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a SAMARITAN, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

A person left Jerusalem heading east for a seventeen mile journey to Jericho. Jericho is in Jewish territory directly east of Jerusalem toward the Jordan River. Though Jesus was speaking to a Jewish “expert,” they were actually in Samaria making a relevant personal perspective lesson for all listening.

The Good Samaritan has become synonymous to someone helping today, so let’s make it relevant for us. Let’s make this personal. You are in a strange town when Meth addicts jump you, beat you nearly to death, take your wallet or pocket book, strip you of your nice clothes, and leave you in a puddle of your own blood. Thank goodness, a well know pastor of a “first church” in town drives by in his Mercedes and sees you crumbled on the sidewalk, but amazingly he doesn’t stop. He’s wearing his first church suit and he can’t get blood on his Mercedes seat, can he? He drives on pretending he didn’t see you and hoping no one saw him pretending. That’s ok. Another pastor comes by from a smaller charismatic church in town out jogging for exercise. He says, “O Jesus!” He speaks in tongues, stretches out his hand praying for your healing, and jogs on. He believes the Spirit will take care of you. A little later, a homosexual illegal Mexican immigrant riding his old bicycle rides by who can’t speak English (or in tongues). He sees you beaten, bleeding, and unconscious. Feeling pity he gives mercy, drops his bike, and rushes to help. He rips his shirt to make bandages, stops the bleeding, loads you onto his bike, and pushes you to the Medical Center. There, he makes certain you receive care, pays for your immediate help, takes you to his shack of a house, and helps you until someone can come get you. Who was your neighbor?

Here’s the deal. When you are lying in a puddle of your own blood, you don’t care if the person stopping to help you is the biggest sinner in town. You don’t care if they speak English. You don’t care if they ride a bicycle or drive a Mercedes. You don’t care. You need help.

Luke 10:36-37 “WHICH OF THESE THREE do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “THE ONE WHO HAD MERCY ON HIM.” Jesus told him, “GO AND DO LIKEWISE.”

Jesus said, “Do this and you will live.” Then, “Go and do likewise.” Jesus says it’s not reducing down to who my neighbor is. It’s expanding out to who my neighbor is. It’s not who I want in my circle as a neighbor to love. It’s who needs me in their circle. My neighbor is not confined and reduced by racial boundaries, religious boundaries, neighborhood boundaries, or any boundary. My neighbor is only confined and defined by my mercy.

I’ve been dealing with something inwardly these last months. As you know, my sister-in-law, Brenda, my wife’s sister, died a few months back. In the forty-six years I had Brenda in my life, she seldom asked me to do anything, but did want me to take her son deep sea fishing. I never did. He was never there to take, but that’s not my issue. I shared with Judy how this was the only thing Brenda wanted me to do I didn’t do for her. I “justified” myself saying, “But I know Brenda knew I would if he ever was there.” (I’m an expert in the Bible.) Judy said, “Yes, you would, but not because you wanted to. She knew you would do it for her, but not for him and she wanted you to want to do it for him.” Don’t you hate it when God speaks to your deepest part through your spouse? I walked by on the other side for forty-six years. Her son’s led a rebellious life causing everyone all sorts of heartache. He’s just not someone I want to spend a day in a boat with, but that’s not doing what Jesus teaches here.

Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.” Eternal life is about my loving God with all my faculties because I want to, not because he tells me to. Eternal life is about loving people because I want to, not because I’m commanded to. How many people have we walked by on the other side when we could have helped?

Love is costly. To love God correctly it will cost. To love people correctly it will cost your time, your resources, your energy, your care, your money. We don’t want to pay the price for love. The expert asked, “And who is my neighbor?” He asked the wrong question and so do we. The real question is “Will I be a neighbor?” A neighbor isn’t something I define. A neighbor is something I become. It’s not who I want as a neighbor. It’s who needs me for a neighbor.

We’re not told how or if the expert responded. It is left up to us. How will I respond? How will you respond? We want to be the Good Samaritan. We know the correct answer, but do we have the mercy to go and do likewise?

Other Related Sermons:

The Good Samaritan – sermon video audio notes

Eternal Life One More Thing – video audio notes Luke 18:18-30

Do not Rejoice About Success – video audio notes Luke 10:17-21

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young