Summary: Sermon 5 of 10 on Jesus Stories. The main points were taken from a sermon titled "Getting our Hands Dirty" by John Stensrud. An attorney asked a question of Jesus. People were always asking him questions because he gave them answers that were clear and

1/26/2003 – Traveling with One Eye on the Ditch

An attorney asked a question of Jesus. People were always asking him questions because he gave them answers that were clear and crisp. You couldn’t miss the point of the message. In response to the man’s question Jesus told a story we call “The Story of the Good Samaritan.” In this story we learn that really loving your neighbor is an attitude of life that means looking for the opportunities to get dirty hands...

Traveling with One Eye on the Ditch

Today we will learn about a certain religious lawyer who tried to trap Jesus with carefully conceived arguments.

It ended up that the lawyer was caught in his own web of trickery. Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. Just prior to this event, Jesus had sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?"

It’s curious then, that in spite of this, Jesus uses a Samaritan as the hero of the story.

The parable itself takes place on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. It was 17 miles of rough, winding road; plenty of places for robbers to hide. Dangerous journey.

“The Ploy”

Luke 10

25 Then an expert on the law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to get life forever?”

26 Jesus said, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?”

27 The man answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” g Also, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

28 Jesus said to him, “Your answer is right. Do this and you will live.”

29 But the man, wanting to show the importance of his question, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

It’s important to understand that the main character in this “Jesus Story” is the lawyer – not the Samaritan

The Samaritan is the key character in the story that Jesus told in response to the questioning of the lawyer. His question was “How can I inherit eternal life?”

Jesus answered him in not so many words, but if we read between the lines, “Eternal life is a gift from God, and when you get it you’ll be like the Samaritan who helped even his enemies.”

This is the main idea of the passage: If you understand this, you understand the meaning of our text. This legal expert is the central figure of this passage. He has the lead role. The parable that Jesus tells him is for his benefit. He needed to hear what Jesus had to say because he was focused on the wrong things in life

The lawyer was focused on the law

He knew the law but he didn’t comprehend its purpose.

He was an expert in the law. He had studied it and understood it.

We see this clearly because when Jesus asked him about the law he answered well and wisely. But despite his knowledge he had no wisdom about the law of God. Let me just say this briefly about God’s law – which as Paul Kissling mentioned last week – is not about a picky and demanding God but about a loving and compassionate God.

The law is for our benefit – not for a mean God who wants to keep us “down on the farm”.

Still the law reveals some very important truths:

1. The law reveals the nature and holiness of God

We see in the law his desire to have from us the best in us. We see in him his desire to protect and cherish us as his people.

2. The law reveals the sinfulness and short comings of humankind

Who here has a clear record when you look at the 10 commandments? Anyone want to raise his or her hand? I didn’t think so.

3. The law reveals the powerlessness of the law to redeem us

The law has limitations. It sets the standard and reveals the limitations and there it ends. Galatians calls the law a “school teacher” which teaches, rebukes, and corrects us. The limitation is that it cannot erase the past…

In Sierra Leone a boy was forced into war at age 12. He killed too many people to keep track of. He was active for 5 years and 10 months and now at age 17 he is unable to sleep. He speaks of terrible depression and is unable to get past his grief. I heard him say on the radio interview that there was "no way to get beyond the evil he did."

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Gary Pettyjohn

commented on Nov 2, 2007

Rick, I enjoy reading your sermons. I really liked the Ghandhi quote in this one. Are you related to Bob?

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