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•Maybe the robbers might come back and get him, too.
Whatever his excuse, this priest deliberately avoids him and walks by on the other side.
This counterfeit priest was holy on the outside, but corrupt on the inside.
He could care less about someone else in need. He was a callous counterfeit.
I wonder if we’ve ever been guilty of the same crime.
How many times have we heard/seen the plight of others and made up excuses why we couldn’t help?
•Maybe it was someone in need of food, money, shelter, comfort, encouragement.
•Maybe it was missionaries needing support.
•But we were too busy, too self-conscious, too tight with our own blessings.
Recent surveys have found that unbelievers in America actually give more to the needy than professing believers do!
•And yet, we’re the “priests”, the religious people, the first ones who should help.
How many times have we acted just like that callous counterfeit?
But Jesus doesn’t stop there.
II. THE CURIOUS CROWD
32SO TOO, A LEVITE, WHEN HE CAME TO THE PLACE AND SAW HIM, PASSED BY ON THE OTHER SIDE.
Notice this Levite actually came up to the man and looked him over before moving on.
Illus. A term we medics would often use at the scene of an accident was “rubbernecker”.
•They would drive by, straining to see the action without any intention of helping out.
•Just curious, but without any compulsion or compassion.
Levites were also special people among the Jews, chosen to assist the priests.
It might be understandable (although not excusable) for a “holy, clean” priest to avoid the mess, but why would a Levite, a “special Jew” come just to look and walk away?
This curious Levite just wanted to see the action, but didn’t want to help.
He was curious, but not committed.
Again, I wonder if we’ve ever been guilty of the same crime.
How many times have we just been curious but without compassion?
•Maybe it was watching the social outcast walk down the street.
•Maybe it was the secret stare toward someone coming into our service.
Either way, we’re just as guilty as the curious crowd.
Before we get to the main character in this parable, I want to skip ahead to the next one.
III. THE COMPENSATED CAPITALIST
35THE 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.’
Now, there’s nothing wrong with being paid for a service. After all, it was his livelihood.
He was asked to go beyond his normal duties and care for this wounded man.
•In return, he would be reimbursed for his trouble.
This compensated innkeeper was willing to help if it helped him in return.
How many times do we help out only when there’s something in it for us?
•“I’ll help this person if I’m reimbursed for my trouble.”
•“I’ll teach Sunday School because my kids are in the class.”
•“I’ll watch your kids this week if you watch mine next week.”
•“I’ll help serve tables because there’s a free meal in it for me.”
There’s nothing inherently wrong with getting reimbursed for our trouble.
•But does it show true compassion when we only help out if we’re helped in return?
Mt. 6:3-4 BUT WHEN YOU GIVE TO THE NEEDY, DO NOT LET YOUR LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT YOUR RIGHT HAND IS DOING, 4SO THAT YOUR GIVING MAY BE IN SECRET. THEN YOUR FATHER, WHO SEES WHAT IS DONE IN SECRET, WILL REWARD
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