The Good Samaritan

The Good SamaritanText: Luke 10:30-37

Jesus often used parables in His teaching – using an everyday illustration to describe a spiritual truth. In this parable, Jesus described one who was beaten by robbers and left for dead on the side of the road. Three men passed by him, but only one stopped to help. As we study this, we are going to attempt to identify the MAIN point. Once we do that, we will see how we can apply this in our lives.

Context

  • This parable was given as an answer to a question: “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) – a lawyer tested Him with a question about eternal life (Luke 10:25); Jesus, as the master teacher, had this man answer his own question (Luke 10:26-28)
  • However, this man was trying to trap Jesus, not himself – yet he had been trapped and needed to repent; so he tried to “justify himself” (Luke 10:29); as a lawyer, perhaps he could find a loophole, but he would not

Basic Point

  • In the parable, a man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho – he fell among robbers and was left for dead; two men saw him and passed by on the other side (a priest and a Levite) and refused to help; the third man who came stopped to help (a Samaritan); he was inconvenienced, but he made a sacrifice
  • Jesus then asked who proved to be a neighbor to the injured traveler (Luke 10:36) – the answer was obvious and the lawyer answered correctly (Luke 10:37); Jesus told him to do the same
  • The main point of the parable is that we must prove to be a neighbor to those who need a neighbor

Examination

  • First, notice the first two men that Jesus said refused to help – a priest and a Levite; they were set apart by God to offer sacrifices and attend to God’s service (Numbers 18:6-7); both were committed to the Lord’s work and would have been recognized by all for this
  • Second, notice the third man who did help – a Samaritan; the Jews did not think highly of the Samaritans (John 4:9); because of this, he could have easily justified NOT helping
  • The Samaritan was willing to spend his time, energy, and money to help a stranger in need – every aspect of this was a sacrifice for him

Application

  • We may be outwardly religious and still not right with God (Matthew 23:27-28; James 1:27) – this does not mean that outward service is unimportant, but it is not everything
  • We are to help those in need when we encounter them (Galatians 6:10) – this also means being open to helping those who may be “different” (race, culture, class, etc.)
  • We are to be willing to make sacrifices to help others (2 Corinthians 8:1-5; James 2:15-17)
  • We are to put ourselves in a position where we CAN help (Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 6:17-18)
  • We may not need to emulate the ones who are “well-respected” (Luke 16:14-15; 22:24-26)

Conclusion

  • From time to time, we will encounter those who are in need – those who need a neighbor
  • We need to prove to be a neighbor – be ready and willing to help

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