Summary: This sermon parallels the acts of the Good Samaritan to the provisions of Jesus Christ for the sin-sick soul, and then puts each us into that same position as well.
A Question from a Lawyer
By Pastor Jim May
Don’t you just love to deal with lawyers? They are just fun people to be around. No – not really! Many of our experiences with lawyers have been, how shall I say it: Less than positive. I rank them right up there with going to the dentist. Now I can’t say that all of them are so bad because I have lawyers in my family and they are really good people. But lawyers do have a reputation for being hard to deal with. They are quite adept at getting people to say what they want them say. It’s very interesting to watch them in action as I did a few months ago while serving on a jury.
Lawyers have always been the brunt of many good jokes like:
What’s the difference between a lawyer and a vulture? The lawyer gets frequent flyer miles.
What do you get when you cross a bad politician with a crooked lawyer? Chelsea Clinton
If you have a bad lawyer, why not get a different one? Changing lawyers is like moving to a different deck chair on the Titanic.
How does a lawyer sleep? First they lie on one side and then on the other.
What’s the difference between a shame and a pity? If a busload of lawyers goes over a cliff, and there are no survivors, that’s known as a pity. If there were any empty seats before the bus went over the cliff, that’s a shame.
It’s just a part of life that all of us must at some point in our lives have dealings with lawyers and sometimes we are grateful that they are there because without them some of the problems we face would never be solved in our best interest.
In our passage of scripture for tonight we see a lawyer giving Jesus the 3rd degree in an effort to trap the Lord into saying something wrong, something that the religious leaders could use against him in a court of law.
Luke 10:25 says, “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Luke 10:26-29, "He [meaning Jesus] said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? [Tell me your private interpretation of what the Law says concerning how you can inherit eternal life] 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. [right away we can see that this lawyer deals only in legalities. It’s all about obeying the Law, and not about serving God with your heart and soul. He expected to get to Heaven just because he was a son of Abraham and knew the law, but he didn’t understand the Spirit of the Law, only the letter of the Law. He was attempting to justify himself as a leader among the Jews.] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. [If you fulfill the requirements of the Law both in Spirit and by the letter you would live. But are you really doing so?] But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?"
The lawyer knew that he was caught in not telling the whole truth. The Word had spoken right to the heart of this lawyer and he knew that he wasn’t right in his interpretation. But true to form, he refused to confess his sin. Instead, he tried to come up with a lame excuse for his sin.
Jesus was longsuffering toward the lawyer so he then tried to teach the lawyer a lesson through the use of a parable that would show the lawyer the true meaning of the Law that the lawyer had just quoted to him, and to answer his question on who is his neighbor. Are your neighbors only the people of your own nation, the Jews? Are your neighbors only those who live close by and are your friends? Are not all men, regardless of where they live and who they are, your neighbors?
God wants none of us to go on in sin and darkness. He is ever trying to reach out to us to teach us the truth and way to eternal life. If we will only open our spiritual ears and open our hearts to hearing what the Word is trying to say.
Luke 10:30-37, "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 by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 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. 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. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise."