Summary: In relating to our Neighbor’s about their Need for eternal life, Jesus shows us how to: 1) Relate to our Neighbor’s Needs (Lk 10:25), 2) Recommend to our Neighbor’s about their Need (Lk 10:26–28), the danger to 3) Reject our Neighbor’s Need (Lk 10:29-37)
Battling ever-rising levels of distrust of Canada’s legal class, the Ontario Bar Association is mounting what may be the largest effort yet to defend the reputations of the country’s lawyers: A campaign that emphasizes the idealistic reasons they went to law school in the first place. Last year, a survey of Canada’s most trusted professions by Ipsos Reid found lawyers were considered less trustworthy than airport security guards, plumbers and even journalists — and only slightly ahead of auto mechanics and taxi drivers. Bruce Marcus, a Connecticut-based law-firm marketer, argued “image” campaigns are an expensive mirage. “As long as we believe there really is such a concept as image, and we work toward enhancing it, we absolve ourselves of the need to nurture reputation and perception by improving reality,” he wrote. (http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/07/31/campaign-aims-to-boost-canadians-plummeting-trust-in-lawyers-but-is-that-even-possible/)
In Luke 10, we see a personal conversation between Jesus and a lawyer. He was a member of the religious establishment, the highly educated, prominent, powerful, and influential people who made up Judaistic apostate religion, hostile to Jesus. This unnamed scribe had a rare privilege whose value is beyond estimation—having a conversation about eternal life with the One who is Himself eternal life (1 John 5:20). In a tragic example of missed opportunity that rivals Judas, the scribe, despite asking the right question of the right person and receiving the right answer, he turned away to face eternal death.
As this story unfolds, Jesus was in the final months of His earthly ministry, journeying slowly to Jerusalem and blanketing Judea’s towns and villages with the message of eternal life while calling people to be His true disciples (cf. Luke 9:23). But despite His powerful preaching and miraculous signs, only a very small number of people savingly believed and embraced the gospel. Most rejected His call to humble themselves, repent of their sin and self-righteousness, receive complete forgiveness, and in faith enter the kingdom of God. They would not accept Christ’s message because they would not acknowledge themselves to be wretched sinners on their way to eternal destruction. Having rejected the diagnosis, they denied themselves the only cure.
Despite its outcome, this incident provides a valuable lesson on doing personal evangelism the way Jesus did it. In being a Good Neighbor, the most important thing we can do is to share the reality of eternal life. This must be grasped through understanding how to: 1) Relate to our Neighbor’s Needs (Luke 10:25), 2) Recommend to our Neighbor’s about their Need (Luke 10:26–28), and the danger to 3) Reject our Neighbor’s Need (Luke 10:29-37)
In relating to our Neighbor’s about their Need for eternal life, Jesus shows us how to:1) Relate to our Neighbor’s Needs (Luke 10:25)
Luke 10:25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (ESV)
The particle idou (“behold”), indicates that the question asked by the lawyer was a surprising development. But he was motivated to ask this question by concern that he not miss out on eternal life. A lawyer (nomikos), or scribe, was an expert in the interpretation and application of the Mosaic Law and the rabbinical traditions that had been formed over the centuries. Scribes are frequently seen in the Gospels accompanying the Pharisees and seeking ways to discredit Jesus (Matt. 12:38; 15:1; Mark 2:16; Luke 5:21; 6:7; 11:53; 15:2; John 8:3).
Please turn to John 6 (p.891)
This teacher of the law, was apparently asking questions on his own, since he wanted to know what he, not people in general, needed to do to inherit eternal life. His question indicates that the emphasis on corporate salvation in Judaism had not negated the concepts of individual salvation and human responsibility.
John 6:27-29 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." (ESV)
• Relating to our neighbors needs starts with helping them ask the right questions. People think that their most important need is for food, shelter and clothing obtained by working. Our task is to show how all those things pass away, but eternal life is the ultimate need that shadows all other needs.
That he stood up and interrupted Jesus was not a sign of disrespect, since he addressed the Lord courteously as teacher. While the phrase put Him to the test could often imply evil intent on the questioner’s part (cf. Mark 10:2), for this lawyer it may have been merely an effort to determine whether Jesus knew the answer for which he felt a great need. The lawyer seemed to understand that his greatest need is about how to inherit eternal life. The man does not ask how he may obtain life eternal as if he were at a loss as to the way and the means. On the contrary, he thinks that he knows how quite well, it must be by doing something (Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (p. 596). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.),