Summary: One of most familiar parables is the story of the Good Samaritan, found only in the book of Luke. It is a story that speaks about attitudes and true faith demonstrating itself in action.
The Compassionate Samaritan
Introduction: The story known as the parable of the Good Samaritan is found only in the book of Luke. This most familiar parable has inspired painting, sculpture, poetry, and film. Many have allegorized this story to represent Christ as the Good Samaritan reaching out to redeem a lost soul. This application does fit and is a proper application of its illustrated truths. Others have seen the parable merely as a story to encourage helping others. But the parable of the compassionate Samaritan is more than that; it is a story that speaks about attitudes and true faith demonstrating itself in action.
I. The Confrontation of the Lawyer – verses 25-29
A. An expert in the Jewish law confronted Jesus Christ with the question “What must I do to inherit eternal life?" To which Christ replied “What is written in the law?” The lawyer answered by saying, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself” Jesus said, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”
B. Christ said on another occasion in Matthew 22:40 "On these two commandments the whole law hangs, and the prophets"
C. Galatians 3:10 “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.”
D. Eternal life depends completely upon keeping perfectly the entire law of God. But man with his sinful nature has never nor can keep the law absolutely. What has always been impossible for every man, the God-man, Jesus Christ has kept the law inviolate, all of it.
E. These two commandments go hand in glove and sum up the Christian experience.
F. Loving God completely can only be accomplished through a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ as one’s personal Redeemer and Lord.
G. When one loves God completely it is evidenced in a love for others.
H. 1 John 4:20 “If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
I. Seeking to justify himself and trying to save face the lawyer asks, “Who is my neighbor?” He knows that he doesn’t possess eternal life. He knows that he does not properly love – at least not all men.
J. Christ answers the question in the story of the compassionate Samaritan
II. The Plight of the Traveler – verse 30
A. A traveler journeyed along a seventeen mile downward stretch of road from Jerusalem to Jericho known as “The Way of Blood”. It was called such because it was a perilous road as highwaymen, violent robbers, often attacked those who traveled it. As the traveler journeyed we are told that this man was encircled by the thieves, who stripped him of his clothing and beat him to incapacitate him from seeking help or going after them. They left him half-dead. There he lay on the side of the road alone and helpless.
B. Like this man there are people who along the highways of life that we traverse that have genuine hurts and pain needing someone to care.