Summary: Focusses on motives on the Pharisees rather than the parable itself. Pushes people to examine their own motives and what drives them.
Paonia United Methodist Church
July 11, 2004
Chances are if you have spent any time around a church,
And during any of that time you were even marginally conscious,
You have undoubtedly heard of the Good Samaritan.
In a survey, 80 % of the population could recount at least the main point
Of the story, and better than 50% could recount details from it.
We have named hospitals and churches “Good Samaritan”
We have passed laws about helping people in need and called
The Good Samaritan laws.
Just hearing the name, Good Samaritan,
You undoubtedly already know what is the purpose behind the title.
So, with that all said,
Lets take another look at the story of the Good Samaritan,
And see if we might find something new here…
Something that we have not seen before.
Something that we might be able to take home and use
In our daily lives.
25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27He answered: " ’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.’ "
28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ’Look after him,’ he said, ’and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
This is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, chances are, you have heard that story before.
There is nothing particularly new to it.
It’s the same one you have heard since you were
Six and mom, dad, and the grandparents took
you to Sunday School.
But, have no fear…
We are on a search here for something new…
And, since we are on that fact finding search,
Why don’t we begin with a little context.
The first thing that jumps out from the text is that Luke thoughtfully includes
Who it is that begins this debate.
He tells us, he is a lawyer.
Yes, you heard that right…
They liked them as much then as we do now.
But, there is a bit of a difference.
This was not a civil lawyer, but a religious leader…
One whom was well versed in the law.
He knew it backwards and forwards.
He was likely a scribe before ever becoming a lawyer.
A Scribe’s job was to literally hand write the Septuagint,
That is most of what you and I call the Old Testament,
Day after day after day after day.
These were learned men who dedicated their lives to the Scripture.
But this man had even gone beyond this high and holy calling.
He was a lawyer…
An expert in the law…
If anyone knew it and should be able to give a faithful
Account of the Hebrew faith, it would be this man.
This truly would be a deeply religious man.
Now, to be fair, I told you the other week of what I think of people
Who say, “I’m spiritual, but not religious.”
This is the creed of the fallen.
It means, I want to form God into my own image.
I want no accountability to anyone or anything.
I follow myself to wherever and whatever feels good…
And I will call myself spiritual.
I will have a form of godliness,
But it will be the one I choose.
But, this morning we find someone quite the opposite.