Summary: Parable of the Good Samaritan. Inductive structure.
Me, Do What?
VIDEO INTRODUCTION… Liberty Mutual Commercial 2009 (0:00-1:00) [youtube.com/watch?v=frpp6DjCaJU]
NARRATIVE: Loving Story Part 1
He was driving home one Monday evening on a busy city street. Like everyone else in the world at that time, it was the mad rush to get home from work. Traffic was crazy… no it was insane. Some people were even driving in traffic while texting which makes the drive that much more difficult and so very dangerous. He managed a store and did well for himself and provided well for his wife and kids. He was about to take off his tie after a hard day of dealing with customers and complaints when his cell phone rang. Carefully he hit the speaker phone and answered. It was his mother. He often talked to his mother on his way home from work. They talked about her day. They talked about what had happened on the weekend. He asked her about church. She asked about his. They talked about the kids.
As they were talking, traffic slowed to a crawl. All he saw were break lights… I guess dinner will be cold again, he thought to himself. Everyone was moving to the left and so did he. His mother sensed the change in his mood. He told her about the even slower moving traffic. As they spoke, he passed the problem car. This car had stopped in the right lane of the busiest street at the busiest time. As his car passed, he glared from his car into the other disapprovingly. He saw an elderly woman just sitting in the seat in her car. As she looked at him, the man just shook his head at the older lady as she was fouling up the entire ride home by just sitting there. The least she could do was get her car off to the side of the road. She just sat there… can you believe it?! Call somebody or something! He finished up his conversation with his mom and was glad to get home to his family when he finally arrived.
The passage and Biblical truth that we will be looking at this morning is one that is very well known and some people who have never even come to church often know about this story. We hear it often, so often that sometimes we just ignore it or make excuses not to actually do it. The passage is one that is full of grace and mercy and moves us to right action. Grace and mercy are often two sides of the same coin. If you want to think of grace and mercy as a family, they are brother and sister… related, but different at the same time.
GRACE AND MERCY DEFINITIONS (adapted from www.studiesintheword.org/mercy_and_grace.htm)
The Hebrew words translated "mercy" in the Old Testament are defined as compassion, to love deeply, to have tender affection, to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior, and to favor. A word in the Old Testament that is a great synonym of “mercy” is “loving-kindness.” In the New Testament, there are two words most often translated "mercy" which carries with them the meaning of pity, compassion, and is most often an action word where someone is showing compassion to another. I want you to see that in both the Old and New Testaments that “mercy” is framed in terms of action… “stooping in kindness” and “showing compassion.”
The other word “grace” is very similar to “mercy.” Nelson's Bible Dictionary (my favorite Bible study tool of all time) defines "grace" as: "Favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that same person deserves." In the Old Testament, the word which is translated “grace” is one that means "favor." In the New Testament, in almost every instance, the word that is translated “grace” comes from one that means “graciousness of manner or act; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude." Again, grace in both the Old and New Testaments are framed in terms of actions towards people who do not deserve that which is coming to them.
The stories in Scripture that are full of grace and mercy are those that we know the best:
* Joseph responds in grace and mercy by providing food and land in a time of drought for his brothers and their families even after they sell him into slavery (Genesis 43-45).
* Throughout the book of Judges God has compassion and grace on the people of Israel that although they have turned away to idols, He sends 12 judges to lead them out of their oppression and offers forgiveness, in fact, Judges 2:18 says, “Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them.”