Summary: What is it that hinders us from doing the good that we should be doing? We are often like the Priest and the Levite, sometimes we just miss the point of our faith. Sometimes Christianity becomes just a religion to us and not a lifestyle
“Parable of the Good Samaritan”
At approximately 3:20 on the morning of March 13, 1964, twenty-eight-year-old …(Kitty) Genovese was returning to her home in a nice middle-class area of Queens, NY…. She parked her ….(car) in a nearby parking lot, turned-off the lights and started the walk to her second floor apartment some 35 yards away. She got as far as a streetlight when a man grabbed her. She screamed. Lights went on in the 10-floor apartment building nearby. She yelled, "Oh, my God, he stabbed me! Please help me!" Windows opened in the apartment building and a man’s voice shouted, "Let that girl alone." The attacker looked up, shrugged and walked-off down the street. Ms Genovese struggled to get to her feet. Lights went back off in the apartments. The attacker came back and stabbed her again. She again cried out, "I’m dying! I’m dying!" And again the lights came on and windows opened in many of the nearby apartments. The assailant again left and got into his car and drove away. Ms Genovese staggered to her feet as a city bus drove by. It was now 3:35 a.m. The attacker returned once again. He found her in a doorway at the foot of the stairs and he stabbed her a third time -- this time with a fatal consequence. It was 3:50 when the police received the first call. They responded quickly and within two minutes were at the scene. Ms Genovese was already dead….
We all want to do whatever it takes to be saved. We all want to know how to be saved, that is why the question is so often asked what must I do to be saved? We all know how to respond to that question, we all know what to tell people to do, but I believe there is more to being saved then simply coming forward and being baptized. Being saved involves a change in the heart, a change in attitude, a change in priorities, and a change of lifestyle.
One of the most well known parables that Jesus ever taught was the Parable of the Good Samaritan, this story was told in response to a Lawyers question what must I do to inherit eternal life?
I think Jesus’ point is that there is more to becoming a Christian than the actions of obedience, the conversion is not outer, but inner, and it is shown in the way we act towards people. The scriptures tell us that the single greatest command is to love God and the second is to love your neighbor. So often I think we get caught up in the religious rituals of obedience to the Lord that we miss the point. I believe that the things that we do when we come to church are important. I believe it is important to take the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day, but if we do not have love than the Lord’s Supper is meaningless.
Christianity is different from other religions in that love is the center of the religion. Jesus said that they will know we are Christians by our love. As you look at other religions they seem to lack something, and that is love.
One man said that Confucius originated the golden rule, not Jesus. Confucius said, “do not do to others what you would not have them do to you”, this is in no way similar to the
Golden rule that Jesus taught. One is positive the other is negative. I want to ask you today are you like the Priest that was so caught up in religion that they missed the purpose of religion?
Text: Luke 10:25-37
One reason why the priest and Levite passed up the man on the side of the road was because of their religion. They were both Jews headed to Jerusalem to worship. I can just picture them now, “if we touch him we will become ceremonially unclean”. They missed the point. They were like the Pharisees who took every bit of the law and did not show any grace. They obeyed the law to its letter and looked down on anyone who saw the principle of the law as more important. We as Christians sometimes get caught up in trying to meet the commands that we miss the principles that Jesus taught. I do believe that there are certain commands that are to be obeyed without exception. For example there is no excuse for not being baptized, because that is the only way to be forgiven of our sins and to be covered in the blood of Jesus.
We do need to make sure, however, that we do no get so caught up in religion and ritual and tradition that we miss the greatest commands to love God and to love man.