Summary: Today we will take a look at the Good Samaritan and glean from the conversation that Jesus had with a lawyer about this dynamic man.
• Paint the Picture
o The story of “The Good Samaritan” is known far and wide in Christendom.
o It’s a story of treachery, thievery, hypocrisy, racism, compassion and care.
o This story teaches us to look beyond religious, social, racial and societal barriers and “love our neighbor.”
o Homes, Ministries & Hospitals have all been named after the person in this story (e.g., Good Samaritan Hospital, Samaritan’s Purse)
o "Good Samaritan laws” have been passed as the direct result of this story and people who do not even believe in the Bible abide by these laws. (The laws encourage us to help those in need as we pass by)
• There is much to be learned from this true-life event. Let’s take a look.
I. Contextual Analysis
A. Jesus is conversing with the seventy-two that He had previously sent out. They returned rejoicing saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject to us through thy name!” – V.17
1. Jesus responded that He was there when Satan was thrown as lightning from heaven! – V.18
2. Jesus encouraged them to stay grounded and walk in humility as they used this new-found power and anointing. – V.19-20
B. It was in this environment that a lawyer decided to step up and “tempt” Jesus. He asked Him, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” – V. 25
1. Maybe he was seeing if Jesus knew the Law, or maybe he was trying to trick Jesus because he was envious of the popularity of Jesus.
2. Jesus answered his question with a question that pointed the lawyer directly back to the law. (Jesus was very smart when dealing with His skeptics)
a. In so doing, Jesus shows His own confidence in the Law that was still in force at the time of this discussion. (Jesus was on the earth but He had not yet been crucified)
C. But the lawyer is not finished... - Luke 10:29; He desires to "justify" himself by asking the question that sets up our story today. Here is the question: “WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?”
II. Paint the Picture - The Good Samaritan
A. A man travels from Jerusalem to Jericho (A distance of about 20 miles), on a road known as “The Way of Blood” because of the crime that was constantly being committed there. – Luke 10:30
1. He is beaten, stripped and left half dead.
2. A Priest and a Levite pass by and leave him for dead. - Luke 10:31-32
3. A Samaritan comes by, has compassion and helps him. - Luke 10:33-35
B. Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” - Luke 10:36
1. The lawyer answered: "He who showed him mercy." And Jesus told the lawyer that he should also be this way.
a. The Law focuses great detail on avoiding those who aren’t Jews and Jesus just told a lawyer, of all people, that he should do something that would be a violation in the eyes of the Mosaic Law.
b. Why would Jesus do this? Because He was showing that the greatest power on earth is… Love! It is even more powerful than Mosaic Law.
C. Notice that Jesus turned the focus of the original question from "Who is my neighbor?" to "Who was the one that was neighbor to the one in need?"
1. Jesus was teaching how to identify the biblical interpretation of a neighbor and how to love them as ourselves.
III. Learning from this parable
A. A neighbor is identified in Scripture as anyone that we see in need that we can help.
1. Neighborliness doesn’t consider race, religion, culture or creed. It’s a stretch but God’s Word tells us to even love our enemies.
b. The Good Samaritan helped the Jew even though they were considered enemies!
2. As Christians we should follow this example. (Remember, your neighbor is anyone in need that you can help!)
a. God’s challenge to us today is to be more mindful of our neighbors.
B. Showing God’s love to your neighbor should not be measured by one’s religion, race, socio-economic standard, political party or creed…
1. There were three who passed this injured man!
a. The Priest, a teacher of the Law, passed him by.
b. A Levite, assistant to the Priest in carrying our religious practices, passed him by.