The Good Samaritan – sermon video audio notes – Who is my neighbor? A neighbor, in the economy of God, is not the person who lives next door, nor a person who believes as I believe, nor a person of my race or nationality. A neighbor is the person who will help me when I cannot help myself. I am a neighbor when I help others. Go therefore and do likewise.
PARABLES OF JESUS
By Pastor Delbert Young
THE GOOD SAMARITAN
The Good Samaritan part 1
Scriptures: Luke 10:25-26, Luke 10:27-37
The parable we are about to look actually springs from the point we don’t need to be a rocket scientist (wise and prudent) to grab hold of the things of the kingdom. As the Lord explained how blessed the disciples were to see the kingdom, a certain lawyer stood up.
a certain lawyer
Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
As the Lord was teaching, a certain lawyer stood up. This was not just any lawyer. It was a certain lawyer. He was a lawyer who knew his stuff. He had given much time to studying and learning exactly as a lawyer must do today if they desire to be successful. There was no separation of church and state in the ancient Jewish economy. The “law” was the law of God, period. Their entire court system was based upon God’s law. As a lawyer today must know the law based upon the Constitution of the United States of America, this certain lawyer must know God’s law based upon the scriptures. This lawyer was a certain lawyer, wise and prudent – intellectual.
The lawyer stood up. He was confident and proud. He was not ashamed of his appearance, or the way he talked, or his intelligence. We can also see he was probably confrontational for Luke wrote, and tempted him. Had this not been included in the event, I would have thought this was a man with a serious question. He will ask a question. Then from the original question ask another. Both questions, I think, are important questions all of us have asked or ask today.
what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
The question was, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? The word shall is emphatic (emphasized). The NIV writes it, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” The thought is, “What is the least I can do and get in?” “What is the minimum?” The way this is asked today is, “What have I got to do to go to heaven when I die?”
inherit eternal life
There is a legal aspect to inheritance. The lawyer understood this. He was supposed to inherit eternal life because he was a Jew. He asked what shall I do . . . He was saying, “I am a Jew and a very educated Jew. I know what the law says. What must I do?” Actually, it doesn’t seem he felt he should need to do much of anything. He felt he should automatically inherit.
Many believers feel this way. They prayed the prayer. They go to church. They speak in tongues. So, what could possibly interfere with their eternal life?
What is written in the law? how readest thou?
I think it is important to note the Lord’s response in this situation in hopes I can remember to do this the next time it happens to me. Instead of rebuking the certain lawyer, the Lord gave him the “floor.” The reason will become obvious in a moment. The Lord answered the question of the lawyer with a question. Jesus said, What is written in the law? how readest thou? Instead of becoming agitated at the lawyer’s interruption, Jesus said, “You tell us. You are a lawyer and know the law. What is written in the law? How do you see it?” Jesus was saying, “You preach awhile. Let’s hear what you think.”
It seems this had the potential to destroy the entire meeting. Jesus often answered a question with a question (i.e., whose inscription is on the coin, Mat 22:20; was the baptism of John of men or God, Mat 21:24, etc.), but here the Lord appeared to encourage the interruption. However, it is not exactly the case. There is a principle in operation here. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Mat12:34; Luk 6:45). If we will allow people to talk, they will reveal their heart. The lawyer did just this. “Go ahead,” said Jesus, “How does it read to you?”
Luke 10:27 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 neighbour as thyself.
Luke 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. Let’s make certain we remember the original question. It was, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” The lawyer had the answer. He did not hesitate. He had the opportunity to preach what he knew, so there he went. He 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 neighbour as thyself. To this, the Lord said he agreed. Thou hast answered right. This would be the Lord’s answer also.
Notice “a sinner’s prayer” is not required. There is nothing wrong with a “sinner’s prayer.” I did one, but it’s not required. Someone would ask, “Well, don’t you think you should confess Jesus as Lord?” If a person truly loves God, they will believe Jesus is the Lord and will confess Jesus Christ as such. Any other confession is only antichrist (1Jo 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2Jo 1:7). Attempting to enter in any other way is nothing but a thief and a robber (Joh 10:1). There is no way to get to God except through Jesus (Joh 14:6).
Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
The Bible says, the lawyer was desiring to justify himself. Justify himself about what? How is this? What does justify himself mean? It means he is a Jew. He figured he was already justified. The certain lawyer asked, And who is my neighbour?
He had opened his mouth and shown his heart. He had flashed, as it was, and exposed himself. The lawyer did not have a problem with loving God. He had a problem with loving somepeople. Who is my neighbor? Or “Who am I obligated to love?” “Whom must I love?” Being a Jew, and a Jewish lawyer knowing exactly what the law said, whom was it he must love? Was he not to simply inherit eternal life? The Jews are convinced because they are Jews, they are God’s special people. They need not love any except the Jews. He had his inheritance simply because he was a Jew. “Whom must I love?” he asked. After all, the Jews are God’s favorite people, right?
Let’s not lose track of the original question beginning this conversation and the root of the discussion. The original question was What shall I do to inherit eternal life? Making certain we incorporate this into this question, we find the certain lawyer was justifying his not loving certain people because he was a Jew. In his mind, he was justified and his inheritance of eternal life was wrapped up. So, And who is my neighbour?
We all can receive from the answer to this question. The lawyer was attempting to justify his prejudice. Loving God was no problem, but those Gentiles… Let’s put this into perspective. Perhaps we are the opposites. Loving God is not a problem, but those Jews… or those black people… or those white people… or those Mexican people… Let’s take it a little further. Perhaps we love God, but those Baptist people… or those Pentecostal people… Let’s go one more step. Loving God is not a problem, but my enemies and those who curse me and those who hate me . . . And so we, as did the certain lawyer, attempt to justify ourselves.
This question is not a bad question. What if I have problems with someone? I know they hate me and curse me and used me. In my heart I know I do not love them. It’s not I haven’t tried to love them. I have worked on forgiving them so I could love them, but . . . Perhaps I have forgiven them, but I know I do not love them. Will I inherit eternal life? Will I go to heaven when I die? Or, because of this one thing, will I go to hell? I recognize my eternal life is contingent upon my loving God and loving my neighbor, so who is my neighbor? Is there a “legal loop hole” there?
Luke 10:30 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 Jesus answering said
It is interesting to me, being a preacher / pastor / teacher, (whatever I am) the Lord did not answer the lawyer’s question by quoting scriptures. Scriptures are debatable and a high priority on the list of topics to argue and debate. I would have begun turning pages and giving chapter and verse. Instead, the Lord answered the certain lawyer, with a parable, a story. I think, sometimes for me, the Word is a crutch to defend my position. The Lord told a parable.
The Lord answered the intelligent lawyer with a parable. This means the Lord is about to teach the ways of the kingdom with a story. We discussed this last time, but there are certain principles about parables needing to be grasped in order for the parable to accomplish its purpose.
1. A parable by the Lord will always use available common objects. The Lord never used objects on another planet or from some future kingdom. Every parable used objects every person could easily and quickly relate. This was because Christ’s kingdom was at hand, reachable and relevant. In this parable, it will be a road the certain lawyer had traveled many times.
2. If the person had eyes to see and ears to hear, they could hold and touch this kingdom. By seeing the principles of the kingdom and applying them, the person was able to inherit the kingdom this moment and begin increasing in abundance. If they rejected the parable, they would not increase, but rather lose what they once possessed (Mat 13:11-12). In this parable, eternal life can be acquired.
3. It is impossible to argue with a parable. Parables are not up for debate. Everyone has an opinion about scriptures. But opinions are removed in a parable. There will be no debate as to whom the neighbor is.
So is it with any parable. When applied, these three principles help us learn the truth of this parable and all parables.
The Lord began his parable telling about a certain man, just as there was a certain lawyer. There will also be a certain priest and a certain Samaritan. The man from Jerusalem would be, of course, a Jew. He was traveling to Jericho and along the way, he fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Every listener had walked this road and would quickly relate. Thoughts and images were not difficult to create in the minds. They were visioning in their minds an exact location along the Jericho road this could happen. Most likely, many knew someone this very thing had happened. The certain man was left half dead. He was incapacitated and unable to help himself.
Luke 10:31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
The beaten Jew is laying there naked, wounded, bleeding, and half dead. He wasn’t laying in a ditch off to the side of the road. He was laying in the road when there came down a certain priest that way. Surely the priest would help. They were servants to the people of God. Their job was to minister to the people for the Lord. The priest certainly knew the law and knew he should help his neighbor Jew, but instead when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. When he saw him . . . ! The priest saw the naked and wounded man. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
Shortly after the Priest walked on, a Levite came and looked on him. This person actually walked up close and looked on the beaten and dying man. Giving no help, the Levite too, passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
Luke 10:34 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.
Luke 10:35 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.
Jews could be the most prejudice of all people. They are convinced they are God’s favorites. Of all the people the ancient Jews expressed prejudice toward, the Samaritans were at the top of the list. The Jews did not like an Samaritan. The dislike goes all the way back to the days of Solomon when Jeroboam led ten tribes away from Jerusalem to Samaria and divided the kingdom. Later, Nebuchadnezzar came taking those ten tribes and mixing them with all the nations of the world. Those in Samaria worshiped false gods and continuously caused problems for the Jews. It was one of those from Samaria, one of those at the top of the prejudice list, the Lord used in the parable – a certain Samaritan.
The Samaritan came and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. Perhaps the priest and the Levite had compassion, but they did not help the poor man. The Samaritan went to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. In other words, there was nothing more the Samaritan could have done for the beaten Jew. However, the Samaritan did not stop there. He took his own money and paid the host at the inn. He told the host to take care of him saying, Whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
This was the parable. Now the kingdom truth and the truth about the question concerning who am I obligated to love to insure I go to heaven when I die. The Lord brings the point home.
Luke 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
Luke 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Another question is presented to the certain lawyer. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? Please do not miss the question by mixing into it religious junk. Jesus asked, Which of these three, the priest (preacher), the Levite (deacon, elder, life group leader), or the Samaritan (the person who helps you when you cannot help yourself) was neighbour unto him? I want to say, “Daaa.” This is a “no brainer.”
Again the certain lawyer, answered correctly. He said, He that shewed mercy on him. Notice the certain lawyer could not say “the Samaritan.” He said, He that shewed mercy on him. He was a Samaritan.
Before I come to the conclusion of what I want to say, I want to share some types and shadows of this parable. The certain man on the journey would be you or I or anyone. The thieves would be the devil (religion, carnal mind, etc.) coming to rob, kill, and destroy (Joh 10:10). The priest would be a religious leader or denomination. The Levite would be a religious acquaintance. The certain Samaritan would be Jesus who poured in his blood and spirit. Jesus put us on his church to take us to the inn – the kingdom. There he left us with the host, his true ministry, giving instruction to minister and heal the person. He promised the host whatever was spent to heal the person, he would pay. All this is good and will preach, but it is not what the parable is about.
I have two major points to attempt to show.
1. Whom am I obligated to love to get to heaven and have eternal life? The answer is the person who helps me when I cannot help myself. Hey, I can do this! Loving the guy who helped me when I was having bad times is easy! It’s as easy as loving God. Yet, my religious self questions, “Lord, do you really mean to inherit eternal life I simply love God, and then love the people who help me when I can’t help myself?” Actually it’s a negative question. What I am really saying is, “Lord, you don’t mean all I must do to inherit eternal life is love God (easy) and love the people who help me (easy), do you?” This is too easy.
We ask, “What about loving my enemies and those who curse me and hate me? What about those who have never done anything to help me, but only attempt to destroy me? What about those people I know I do not love?” OK, let’s investigate this. When this was said in Matthew 5:44, Jesus was not teaching “eternal life.” He was teaching a blessed life now. The entire teaching is about an abundant blessed life now. It is not about inheriting eternal life. Over and over Jesus said, “Blessed are the…” (Mat 5:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). He was teaching the abundant life. He was teaching forgiveness and the benefits of forgiveness. My not forgiving will only work bad things inside me. It will torment the mind and the mind will affect the body. It is called “psychosomatic.” The “psyche” is the mind. The “soma” is the body. The mind will make the body sick. Blood pressure will go up, disease will invade the body, arthritis will come, etc. Paul said in 1 Corinthians because people did not discern the Lord’s body (people) and walk in forgiveness, many had died and others were weak and sick (1Co 11:30). Even communion will not stop the effects of not forgiving. Did they go to hell losing their salvation when they died? No, it doesn’t say this. They simply had sickly, weak, lives not being abundant.
Go, and do thou likewise.
2. The story doesn’t end with my loving God and loving the people who help me when I cannot help myself. Our Lord Jesus Christ finished the parable by saying, Go, and do thou likewise. The story ends with my going and doing likewise. A neighbor is the person who helps others when others can’t help their selves. To be a neighbor who is loved, I must do likewise. I must go therefore and do as the Samaritan. I must do it in compassion. I must do it with care. I must do it with cost “CCC” – Compassion, Care, Cost.
A neighbor, in the economy of God, is not the person who lives next door, nor a person who believes as I believe, nor a person of my race or nationality and skin color. A neighbor is the person who will help me when I cannot help myself. The Samaritan was a neighbor to the Jew. Go therefore and do likewise.
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