Summary: Are we being the good neighbor that God wants us to be?

Parable of the good Samaritan

(Luke 10:25-37) On 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?" {27} He 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." {29} But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" {30} In 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. {31} A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. {32} So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. {33} But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. {34} He 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. {35} The 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?" {37} The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Application of the parable

Are we too busy to help others?

The parable tells us that the victim was first spotted by the priest and the Levite but they chose not to help and passed by on the other side. There could be many reasons why they decide not to help but I would not be surprised if they told themselves that they were too busy. And they were not just busy, they were busy with God's work!

There are those in church who are busy serving the Lord. This is good. But when a person we encounter needs our help, are we too busy to help? If we are too busy to help, we are too busy.

Jesus was busy with many things. Yet I am often amazed that he did not turn away people. When someone comes to him with a desperate need, he is always willing to lay aside his tasks and help that person.

That does not mean that we burn ourselves out helping every single person who needs our help. Some people's problems are beyond our ability and best channeled to someone more capable to help. Some people are just "crying wolf" and should not be allowed to waste our time. But our life would indeed require reflection if we have no time to help anyone at all.

Were there any people who have approached you for help but have been turned down because you have been too busy. Is your ministry in church making you so busy that you do not have time to help?

Don't choose who you want to help

When Jesus told the expert of the law that he has to love his neighbor, the man asked Jesus who He was referring to by "neighbor". He asked that question because he wanted to justify himself (verse 29). In other words, he knew there were people he does not want to love and wants to justify to himself that they are not really his neighbors; therefore it is alright not to love them.

Jesus told the parable but despite the length of the story, it did not answer the man's question directly. The purpose of the parable is to answer the question "Who acted like a neighbor?" and not "Who is my neighbor?". The way Jesus turned the question around is of great importance. When we define who would qualify to be our neighbor and who would not, we immediately decide who we should show love and kindness to and who we need not. But if we decide to be a neighbor, then we no longer need to define who our neighbor is. We show love to everyone.

Jesus not only told the parable to teach that we should show love to everyone, He seem to deliberately choose the Samaritan as the kind person. Why? Doesn't He know that the Jews hate the Samaritans and would have nothing to do with them? (John 4:9) Of course He does. He wants to show that even though the Jews hate the Samaritans, and the Samaritans would naturally be resentful, that Samaritan is still kind to the Jew. In other words, be kind to even those you hate or those who hate you.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion