6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: In this parable Jesus contrasts the old faith of Moses to the new faith of Christianity

Parable of the Good Samaritan – 11

Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem to face his impending death and resurrection

• On the way they stop at a Samaritan village but they reject Jesus because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem

• What is interesting is the disciples response to this rejection

Luke 9:52-55 (NABWRNT)52 and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, 53 but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”

• Both in this story and the Parable of the Good Samaritan which we will look at in a minute Jesus again returns to the theme He introduced in the Parable of the Lost sheep and that is the theme of “Winners” and “Losers”

• You might remember Jesus criticised the disciples because they were arguing over who would be the “greatest in the Kingdom”

• He told them “Whoever wants to be first must be last and servant of all - Mark 9:35

• Then later on when the Pharisees criticised Him for hanging out with sinners and tax collectors He then told them the Parable of the Lost Sheep with its focus on the “lost”

Matthew 18:11 (NKJV) 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

• Jesus can only work with those who are willing to acknowledge their lostness, their lastness their leastness and their deadness

• And we made the point that Grace by its very nature can only function in an environment of sin and lostness

• There is no need for grace in a world of the just, the righteous, the winners

• But in this story of the Samaritan village we see the disciple dropping back into the normal human way of viewing things from a winning perspective

• We are winners because we are with Jesus and you guys are a bunch of losers because you are Samaritans and have not accepted Him into your village

• So they propose a nice winning solution for these losers - call down fire from heaven to consume them?”

• 55 Jesus turned and rebuked them….

• “You are missing the whole point of my mission. It is these very losers that you want to wipe out that I have come to save”

Now we pick up the story of the Good Samaritan and it carries on in this same vein of winners and losers

Luke 10:25-37 (NABWRNT) 25 There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

• How would you answer this question today? Would you give the same answer Jesus gives to this scholar of the Law?

• 26 Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”

• One of Jesus’ favourite ways of answering a question was to pose a question

• 27 He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” 28 He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

• Is this a correct answer? If we follow what Jesus says to this scholar of the law will it result in inheriting eternal life?

• Yes! There are two ways of receiving eternal life, 1) by keeping the law perfectly or 2) Accepting Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as our own

• So what is the problem? No one can live the law perfectly?

Galatians 3:21-22 (NKJV) 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

• Salvation is not something we can lift ourselves up to by pulling harder on our own bootstraps – we are all sinners in God’s eyes and need His grace

• Salvation is only possible by entering through the doorway of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection

• Unfortunately this expert in the law thought he could live up the requirements of the law

• 29 But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

• People who want to justify themselves consider themselves winners. They are into performance religion. They believe their works do count for something

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