Summary: We must adopt the attitude of compassion to carry the word of Christ into our hurting world through our actions.
Attitude – Luke 10: 25 - 37
Intro: There is a legend involving Jesus, the disciples and Peter. In the story, Jesus and his disciples passed by a rocky field. Jesus said, “if each of you carry a stone away, it would clear space for grain to grow. All the disciples except Peter picked up the heavy stones. Peter, feeling the whole ting pointless, carried off a pebble. As they journey on, the disciples became hungry. Jesus had mercy on them and turned their stones into bread for their lunch. --- Poor Peter! --- On the way home, the disciples again picked up stones. This time, Peter picked up the biggest stone he could find thinking of the feast awaiting him. As they reached the banks of the Jordan River, Jesus said, “let none do good for the hope of reward; throw the stones into the river.” (from “The Ditch and the Samaritan,” Tim Zingale, SermonCentral.com)
I. Verses 25 – 29 contain a interaction of Jesus with “an expert in the law.”
A. The lawyer asks, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus knew this was a trick question. So, he turns the question back to the lawyer asking him what the law says.
B. The lawyer’s answer is a combination of Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. “Love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and all you mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.”
C. Jews thought these were aspects of the whole person: heart denotes the will, soul denotes the vitality and consciousness of a person, strength relates to one’s instinctive drives and mind refers to one’s intellectual powers. 24/7 and 100%
II. Verses 30 – 37 I’ve heard and preached many sermons on this parable. Most contrast the actions of the 3 travelers and hold up the behavior of the Samaritan as that which is to be emulated. But I want to talk about something else. I want us to think about one word, “Attitude.”
A. Vs. 30 – ROBBERS – “You have what I want. Why should I work for it when I can take it from you?” Attitude: GREED – I’ll do whatever I have to do, step on whomever I have to step to get what I want.
B. Vss. 31-32 – PRIEST AND LEVITE - When Grandfather asked Grandma why she was the one who handled the pension checks every month her answer was always, “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine’s me own.” Attitude: SELFISHNESS --- that’s the attitude many Christians have toward their God-given bounty. “It’s mine and I’m going to keep it!”
C. Vss. 33-35 “he took pity on him” --- “he had compassion on him” SAMARITAN – looked beyond himself without concern about the cost or the appearance. He responded to the perceived need with an attitude of COMPASSION.
III. This parable is all about ATTITUDE. What we discover here is that attitude is more important than ability. Too often we look at our ability and say “I can’t do that, I don’t know how.” In essence what you are doing is figuratively walking on by the issue or problem. Three things about your attitude to consider:
A. First, your attitude about people and life is much more important than the position you hold. You don’t have to be a deacon, an elder or a minister to minister to the needs of people. You have to have the proper attitude.
B. Second, your attitude is more important than your time. Responding to need may not be convenient for you. But, Jesus says, forget yourself and your limitations and just meet the need.
C. Finally, your attitude toward being a worker for the kingdom is more important than you position in the kingdom. Remember Jesus said, “the first will be last and the last will be first.” Working for the kingdom of God by serving others is not beneath your station. It is your responsibility as a Christian.
Conclu: You must begin by asking God to give you a servant’s heart, to put in your path those whom you can serve and help you to eliminate the excuses that keep you from serving. Constantly checking your attitude, remember the closing words of Jesus in this parable. “Go and do likewise.”