Summary: Jesus has met each one of us at our point of need.
We all know the story commonly called "The Good Samaritan." It does not take too much imagination to place ourselves in the role of any character in the story. We all can identify with the man in the story, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We all rejoice that the Savior met us at our point of need as we lay bruised and beaten in the gutter of sin.
Luke 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Jesus told this story in response to the interrogation of a self-righteous lawyer, who had asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked him how he interpreted the meaning of the law. His answer was.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself."
Jesus accepted his answer as correct, however the man required the definition of the word "neighbor." Thus, the story of "The Good Samaritan."
A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. Jesus didn’t say whether this man was white or black, rich or poor, a saint or a scoundrel. God only sees creation as people created in His own image, who have fallen and are in need of restoration. We read in Revelation of an innumerable multitude of people at the throne, giving praise and honor to the Lamb of God. Their song is recorded in Rev. 5:8.
"You have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and kindred and nation."
The distinctions of these words, tribe, tongue, kindred and nation paint a vivid word picture explaining the composition of the body of Christ. We might use as an example a large mural that is made of embedded stones and pebbles. Each one in different in shape, size and color. When they are put in the proper place by the artist, they made a grand picture.
The man went from Jerusalem which was the city of peace, the center of religion and the place where God had placed his name. He was traveling on a downward course to the city of Jericho which has always been a type of sin.
He was attacked by thieves who beat and stripped him and left him for dead. We know that the work of the master thief is to kill and destroy. We’ve all had our bouts with the thieves of sin. They have various names, but their job is to kill and destroy and they do it very efficiently.
Our text continues in Luke 10:31-32 " And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side."
The priest and Levite represent dead and unresponsive religion. Unfortunately, there are times we may be able to identify with these religious types, whether we admit it or not. We get so busy doing God’s work that we are blinded to what His work really is. I have seen churches who would not respond to prisoners or their families, who appeared to be from a different social class and who we could say were from the wrong side of the tracks. We can thank God that Jesus never recognized such divisions.
The Samaritan was a half-breed of a different culture and religion. He was absolutely from the wrong side of the tracks. By using such a one as this in His illustration, Jesus was sure to ruffle the feathers of this self-righteous professor. Every nation and region has always had a class of people who were looked down on and held in disdain and in ancient Palestine, it was the Samaritans.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. - Luke 10:33-34
The thing that distinguished the Samaritan from others was that he had compassion. He bound up the man’s wounds and treated them with oil and wine. Of course the Good Samaritan is a type of the Lord Jesus. He found us beaten and bloody, wasted by sin, laying in the gutter on the road to hell. He didn’t ask why we were there. He didn’t cast blame. He didn’t demand that we present ourselves at the temple, before the religious dignitaries, to be evaluated for possible restoration. No, He met us there in the gutter, at our point of need. When Jesus appeared, that gutter on the road to Jericho became a grand cathedral. It became holy ground, because Jesus was there. Jesus washed us in the wine of His blood and filled us with the oil of the Holy Ghost and we will never be the same.