Summary: The story of the Good Samaritan turned inside out. God calls all of us to go into the ditch to help others who have fallen into the ditch.
We’ve talked about two major things concerning you and me. One is God’s unconditional love. In Luke, Jesus tells the story of the Prodigal Son which is His most famous story about the unconditional love of God. He came to demonstrate that and did so clearly. Another thing we’ve talked about and touched on is how Christians are to live, about why we’re here. To that end, Jesus’ second most famous story seems to touch on that.
Now at first glance, it looks as though you’re looking at last Sunday’s sermon as far as sermon title and Scripture is concerned. This is not deja vu all over again. There was a preacher who came to a new church, and for the first several weeks he preached the same sermon on tithing, morning and night ... word for word. The church got up a committee, and they came to him and said, "Sir, we like your sermon, but do you have another one?" He replied, "When you do everything I say in this one, then I’ll give you another one."
Well, that’s not what this sermon is about. It is a different one about the same subject. We talked about this "expert in the law" (Luke 10:25). He was one who had his doctoral degree in Scriptural jurisprudence, and he didn’t come to learn from Christ or with a teachable attitude.
Rather, he came to test Him, to check Him out. The implication is that he came either to make Jesus look bad or to make himself look good. So he asked a question he thought would start a theological debate for which there was no real answer. Then he planned to impale Jesus on the horns of a dilemma, make himself look good in the argument, and discredit Christ.
He learned very quickly that was not the way this debate was going to go.
He found himself trapped in a trap of his own making. He was like a schoolboy who worked up his own examination and flunked it. Jesus said to him, in essence, "Knowing Me is not about studying the doctrines of grace and works. Knowing me is a matter of relationship. Having eternal life is a matter of how you relate to the Lord God, to My Father and to Me."
So Jesus answered the question with a question: "What do you read in the Scripture? What do you think?"
The expert had to say it because he had never seen it before. He’s like a lot of us. He had read Scripture all of his life. He had memorized and quoted this,
but he had never truly grasped it before: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
Trying to justify himself and keep this argument going so he would look like he was justified in asking, he asked, "And who is my neighbor?"
That’s a good question, but Jesus had an even better question in mind, and He set him up for it by telling him this story:
Luk 10:30 Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.
Luk 10:31 "And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.