Summary: The Story of the Good Samaritan carries a message for us all.
Helping the Helpless
Sunday, March 06, 2011
By Pastor James May
What is the most important question that any man can ask? A number of time, throughout God’s Word, we find those who have discovered what that question is and they voice that question. As I look over this congregation, I see a lot of people who have already come face to face with that all important question and many of you have received the answer. What question am I speaking about? Let’s look at our scriptures for today and you will find that question at the very beginning, and we will see the answer that Jesus gives.
This is an old familiar story, one that has been told in every Sunday School class and preached from the pulpit of every Christian Church that has existed since the foundation of the church over 2000 years ago. I don’t pretend to bring any special revelation but I do believe that every once in a while we need a refreshing of the lesson that Jesus taught that day.
So what is the most important question you could ever ask? Look with me and let’s see.
Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
There you have it – there is no more important question than, How can I have eternal life? Nothing else can ever be as important. There are a lot of questions in life that are important; who should I marry? Where should I live? What career should I choose? What school should I attend? But all other questions seem insignificant when compared to gaining eternal life. Every other question will eventually come to nothing, for all that we gain in this life, family, lands, houses, possessions, worldly wisdom and knowledge will all be left behind if it is not first found in Christ and given that breath of life from God Almighty.
This lawyer came to Christ to ask that great question, but when he came to Jesus, the lawyer wasn’t prepared to receive the answer that was given.
Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Jesus knew the methods of the lawyer and instead of giving him a direct answer, he answered the question with a question in an attempt to get the lawyer to truly understand what was needed to gain eternal life.
Now the lawyer understood the question and began to give an answer, and it was a good answer, one that would hold up in any court of law in the land of Israel, after all, it was a direct quote from the Law and the Commandments that God himself had given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
The lawyer knew the law. He knew it intellectually; had every word of it memorized; but even though he knew the letter of the law; he had no real understanding of the spirit of the law.
Without Love as the guiding factor, mixed with grace and mercy; the law is nothing more than a cruel and condemning task master. This was a lesson that the lawyer was about to learn from the very lips of the Son of God himself; a lesson that he would never forget even though we are given no indication that it ever changed his heart.
Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
The lawyer spoke the word of Truth and in his own words the answer was found, but he didn’t recognize it when he said it. It’s all about Love; not the love of man, but the awesome Love of God! To Love God with all your heart and soul, and everything within you; and then to have that same Love for all men is the first and greatest step toward eternal life. Love drew Christ down to this earth to pay the price for our sin. Love held Jesus to that cross. Love drew salvation’s plan and resurrected Christ from the grave. Love, the most powerful force in all of creation and all of Heaven – Love is the key to it all!
Luke 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Jesus knew that the lawyer had spoke the truth, but just speaking the truth it isn’t enough unless you are willing to live according to that truth! Jesus knows the heart! He listens to the words but judges according to the heart and they must be agreement.
I know you’ve heard the statement that, “What you do speaks louder than what you say!” The actions of the lawyer says that he was insincere and only trying to appease his conscience. He had no real love for God, nor for his fellowman, and Jesus was going to show him that in a very clear way.