Summary: Rather than identify with the Samaritan, this sermon encourages individuals to identify with the Jew in the ditch.
Go And Do – Luke 10: 25 - 37
Intro: 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 look at this parable from the perspective of the Jew in the ditch.
I. Verse 30 “Jesus replied, ‘ A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.’”
A. Who is this man in the ditch? This was a dangerous road. It was often referred to as “the way of blood.” From Jerusalem down to Jericho there are many caves for robbers to hide.
B. Jesus doesn’t say there was a righteous Jew who . . . What if the man in the ditch was a Samaritan? Does that change the context of the story?
C. However, we, like those listening to the conversation between Jesus and this lawyer assume the injured man in the parable is a Jew. This is suggested by the wider narrative context and the setting in which his attack occurs (ie. From Jerusalem down to Jericho / Jerusalem was predominantly a Jewish town.)
II. Verses 31 – 35
A. Vs. 31 – from the perspective of the Jew in the ditch – “Here comes someone. Thank God! It is a priest! Surely he will help me. Why didn’t he stop? He must be late for his temple service.”
B. Vs. 32 – again from the perspective of the Jew in the ditch – “Great, a Levite. Surely he will stop and help me. . . Why didn’t he stop? Self-righteous, stuck-up Jew who thinks he is better than me.”
C. Vs. 33 – again from the perspective of the Jew in the ditch – “Oh no! Not a Samaritan. I hate those people and his kind hate me! He will probably try to finish me off. BUT, “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 COMPASSION.
III. I want you to put yourself in the position of the Jew in the ditch.
A. Ask yourself these questions, Who would you EXPECT to help you? --- Who would you WANT to help you? --- Who would be the last person in the world that you expect or want to help you?
B. What you discover from the answers to those three questions will tell you a great deal about yourself and your attitudes. You see, this parable is all about ATTITUDE.
C. This parable is as fine an example of racial profiling as you will ever find.--- VSS. 36 – 37 – “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” The Jewish lawyer is so caught up in his prejudice that he can’t even say the word, “Samaritan.”
Conclu: Back to the Jew in the ditch, . . . We do not know whether than man recovered. We do not know if his prejudice against the Samaritan people was changed. --- Jesus challenges both the Jewish lawyer and the Jew in the ditch to “go and do likewise.” Which are you; the Jew in the ditch or the Jewish lawyer? What keeps you from following the command of Jesus to “go and do?”