Summary: The impications of the Parable of the Good Samaritan
HANG OUT A DEAD FISH
The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37
In our reading this morning Jesus asked what he thought he had to do to get eternal life.
The lawyer answered by quoting what we call the Two Greatest Commandments
Question: Can anyone tell me what a commandment is?
Answer: a rule
(Hand out a jelly baby for the right answer)
Question: In our reading today, the lawyer told Jesus that he thought that there were only two rules in life. What were they?
1. To love God
2. To love our neighbour
1. Loving God
Jesus said the first rule of God is that we should Love God.
This means spending time with God.
If you don’t spend time with your friends, they soon stop being friends don’t they? Can you think of two important ways we stay in touch with our friends:
1. 1. Talking with our friends
One way of spending time with our friends is to talk to them. Praying is the way we talk to God.
1. 2. Letters from our friends
Another way of keeping in touch with friends when they have gone away is by letter. We read the letters they write to us.
God has written letters to us and you can find these in our Bibles.
The Bible is God’s letter to us. That’s why as Christians we read the Bible.
2. Loving our neighbour
The second rule that Jesus taught us was that we love our neighbour.
Sounds simple – but ’Who is my neighbour’?
And so that’s why Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.
He told the story of the Good Samaritan:
2. 1.The Road from Jerusalem to Jericho
A Jew went down on the road from Jerusalem and Jericho.
I and Maddy my wife have been on some of that road - when I was in Israel (in Jan 2000) four years ago. It is a very steep road and very windy road. It was the sort of place where you could ambush people.
Question: So what happened to the man on the road?
Answer: He got beaten up by robbers.
But help was on the way, wasn’t it?
2. 1.1 The Priest
Question: Who was the first person that came down the road?
Answer: A priest – who today would be the local vicar.
Question: What did the vicar do when he saw the man lying in the road?
Answer: He walked on by.
Question: Why do you think he walked on by?
Answer: Perhaps he was scared that if he hung around, the robbers might come back and get him too?
Perhaps he had to preach at church – and didn’t want blood on his clothes.
Another reason might have been that the man looked as if he was dead – and in Jewish law if you touched a dead body, you would be unclean for 7 days – and so the Priest would not have been allowed into the Temple.
2. 1.2 The Levite
Well if the Priest didn’t help, perhaps the next guy on the road will help.
Question: Who was the next person along the road?
Answer: A Levite.
Question: Any one know what a Levite was? No, not someone who sells Levi Jeans!
Answer: The Levite was a bit like a churchwarden today, someone who was well respected and ran the church.
Question: What did the Levite do?
Answer: He too walked on by.
2. 1.3 The Samaritan
But this time help really was on the way.
Question: Who was the next person who came by?
Answer: The next chap by is a Samaritan
Question: Does any one know what a Samaritan was?
Answer: In Jesus’ day, the Samaritans were the enemies of the Jews.
The Jews hated them because they were not pure Jews. They had other customs and had married non-Jewish people, something God had expressly told the Jews in the Old Testament not to do.
The Jews consider them traitors.
Question: So why do you think the Samaritan didn’t just walk on by. He could have done. It isn’t my business is it?
Answer: He felt sorry for him.
Nice story isn’t it. The man’s enemy helped him and looked after him.
But Jesus’ stories are more than nice stories. Jesus told stories to teach people things.
Question: Have any of you noticed something out of place in the church today?
Answer: A dead fish.
Question: Why do you think there’s a fish here?
Story: Have you ever seen films of salmon swimming up stream when they want to breed?
It is fantastic when you see these great fish leaping into the air as they try to climb up waterfalls.
Sometimes they have to try time and time again to fight their way up the powerful currents and through the rocks.