Summary: A second look at the parable of the Good Samaritan, this time looking at the very practical ways the Samaritan helped the wounded man.
A Practical Look at the Good Samaritan
February 21, 2010
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE/FORMAT IS FROM ANDY STANLEY'S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
Me: Being a pastor, I get calls for help quite a bit, usually from people who I’ve never met and who have no connection to the church here.
Sometimes they have legitimate needs, others don’t have, and they caused themselves to be in situations they’re not willing to work themselves out of.
Of course, there are other times when I come across someone who needs help, and it has nothing to do with me being a pastor. It just comes into my path.
And one of the things I struggle with is not whether I could help that person – because usually it’s something I can help with, even if it’s not helping much.
The thing I struggle with is whether I should help that person for one reason or another.
And you know what? Oftentimes the answer depends more on my convenience than on my ability to help. Is that selfish or what?
We: Most, if not all of us here today struggle with that attitude from time to time.
If we only had to help those who we liked or knew and who only needed our help when it was convenient, that’d be okay, right?
The guy speaking to Jesus when He gives us the parable of the Good Samaritan is the same way when he asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
Basically he’s hoping that Jesus will tell him that it’s okay to be good to some and not to others.
I won’t go into all the reasons behind that, but suffice it to say that this guy was just like a lot of us.
We want to decide who deserves our help and who deserves our niceness and good attitudes, and whether or not it’s convenient for us. Don’t we?
God: Jesus pokes that balloon with the parable of the Good Samaritan.
We looked at this passage a couple weeks ago. But when we looked at it last time we looked at how Jesus used it to wipe away all the excuses people have for not helping someone in need.
Today I want us to look at some very practical stuff about how the Samaritan helped this wounded Jewish man.
The context of this passage is a discussion Jesus was having with some religious leaders and in that conversation Jesus asked a teacher of the law how he thought a person gained eternal life.
And the lawyer responded – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
But when Jesus affirmed his response, the guy tried to justify himself by saying, “Well, just who is my neighbor, anyway?”
He’s probably thinking, “Please don’t tell me it’s that guy on the corner who never shovels his sidewalk or mows his lawn. I mean the guy could feed a small African nation with the vegetation in his yard.”
Then Jesus launches into this parable of the to show him that the issue isn’t who his neighbor is, but rather that he should be the neighbor.
So let’s look at it today, and I want us to see some very specific and practical ways the Samaritan helped this guy.