Summary: How do we open the heart of men ? By having open hearts ourselves and opening our hand to them to see an open heaven.
(1) INTRODUCTION: True worship includes reaching out to the needy (v27)
Who is our neighbour ? Who does the robbed man represent (v30) ?
(2) THREE STAGES OF OPENING MEN’S HEARTS...
We must have open hearts ourselves and give an open
hand to them to see an open heaven!
(a) OPEN HEARTS : Priest and Levite had closed hearts (vv31-32)
Samaritan had an open heart of compassion (v33) and his heart immediately opened up to the man in trouble.
What caused the Priest and Levite to have closed hearts ? Pride and Tradition (not allowed to touch a dead body by LAW). May also have been fear of the consequences of helping and therefore turning a blind eye.
(b) OPEN HANDS : The Samaritan went one stage further...he practically helped the man.
* The Five Steps of Compassion (vv34-35)
(1) ’Went to him’ - Did something!
(2) ’Bandaged his wounds’ - Met his immediate need.
(3) ’Poured oil and wine’ - Gave further help (oil and wine speak of the ministry of the Holy Spirit) - pray for healing.
(4) ’Set him on own animal’ - used own transportation/resources to help.
(5) Brought him to an inn..cared for him’ Made provision for long-term care.
* The Three Areas for Compassion (Jericho Roads) :
(I) WORK PLACE - colleagues in trouble & need etc..
(II)WELFARE - Social work in needy areas God makes know to you. Note that the Good Samaritan only helped out in the situation that came up as he was going about his everyday business - he didn’t search high and low for someone who had been robbed to help them. God WILL bring needy causes to our attention as we go about our every day work keeping our spiritual attenas up high!
(III)REFORM - The whole church can have a part in changing the spiritual climate of an area in practical ways by it’s members involvement in areas of reform.
(c) OPEN HEAVEN : Opening our hearts and hands to others in needy areas will open heaven for them to hear and receive the Gospel.
(3) CONCLUSION: The question is not so much ’who is my neighbour ?’ (v29) but ’am I a neighbour to those in need ?’ (v36-37).