6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Like the parable of the Good Samaritan we need not only treat others as we would like to be treated but we need to treat others as if you were others.


Today I want to share a story that talks about a very dangerous and treacherous road between Jerusalem and Jericho. It was notorious during biblical times for being dangerous to travelers. Jerusalem was on a hill that measured nearly 2,300 feet above sea-level. Jericho which is near the Dead Sea sits twenty miles away and is nearly 1,300 feet below sea level. The descent of 2,000 feet also included twists and turns with narrow pathways that were ideal for hiding places for bandits.

A letter dated A.D. 171 that was found in which there was a complaint to the government by two pig dealers. They had fallen to brigands (which is from the Old English for a robber or bandit, especially one of an outlaw band.), “They assaulted us with very many stripes, wounding Pasion, robbed us of a pig and carried off Pasion’s coat”. In the fifth century it was called “The Red Bloody Way”. As late as the nineteenth century travelers had to pay safety money to the local Sheiks if they wished to be safe from attacks.

Called the story of the Good Samaritan Jesus taught this as well as many others lessons in parables. (It is ordinarily a comparison of earthly with heavenly things, "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning,") (A story related to a real life situation) A lawyer had come to Him and asked Jesus what might be considered a trick question. In Luke 10:25 And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him in Luke 10:27 And he answered, "you shall 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 your neighbor as yourself." The lawyer in Luke 10:29 But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

There are three things we should learn from this: (1) Lack of love is easy to justify in our minds though it is never right, (2) Our neighbor is anyone regardless of race, creed, religious preference, or social background. A need is a need, (3) Love means to act in meeting of a need regardless of where you are. We should always be following the example of Jesus by showing people the love and compassion that Jesus showed and that we should Go and Do Likewise.


Read Luke 10:25-37

I. First let’s set the stage and look at the characters in this parable

A. First of all the traveler

1. The one thing that stands out is he seems to be reckless (known to be dangerous road)

2. Most of the time travelers traveled in groups for safety

B. Maybe there was a reason for this

1. Maybe he had no one else to go with him

2. Maybe this was the only way to get where he was going

a. Some time we have to do things and go places we would rather not go

b. There are times we go places we should not be going

i. Areas of old problems and trials (especially friends)

ii. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."

C. Next was the priest

1. There were so many priest at the time they divided them up in courses

a. Each course served in the Temple for two weeks in a year

b. When not on duty many stayed in Jericho

2. According to the story he looked and passed on the other side

3. The Jews had all kinds of taboos (like society today)

a. If they touched a dead body they were unclean for 7 days

i. Numbers 19:11 The one who touches the corpse of any person shall be unclean for seven days.

b. Could only do regular business not religious services

c. This event was something great to them being it was occasionally

d. It is likely the priest had compassion

e. But he could not take the chance of checking him out

f. The priest set the Temple ritual above humanity

i. At times we put our own rituals above the church

ii. Football, sports, television, greed……

iii. Have time for other things but not God

D. Next came the Levite

1. They were descendant of the tribe of Levi

2. This name is, however, generally used as the title of that portion of the tribe which was set apart for the subordinate offices of the sanctuary service

3. There is a little difference in the way he acted from the priest

a. It seems he may have come over and looked by then crossed back over and left the man there

4. There may have been a good reason for this

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