Summary: Jesus answers the question: "Who is my neighbor?" for the lawyer who wanted to know who he HAD to love, and who he DIDN’T HAVE to love.
“The Good Samaritan”
INTRODUCTION: Can you name some FAMOUS NEIGHBORS?
o Mr. Rogers Neighborhood … sweater, sneakers … “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood … won’t you be my neighbor?”
o Dennis the Menace … “Helloooo Mr. Wilson!”
o Ricky & Lucy Ricardo … Fred & Ethel Mertz.
o Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor … Wilson.
Have you ever had trouble with a neighbor?
The story this morning is about NEIGHBORS … AND … it has all the elements of a MOVIE. It has: violence … crime … racial discrimination … hatred … neglect … unconcern … love … mercy. Who says the Bible isn’t relevant to the modern world?
LUKE 10:30-37 – all turn.
I’m not really sure this is even a PARABLE … see 10:30 – “went”
There is a REASON for every story that Jesus told. See the REASON in 10:25. The Jews thought that they could INHERIT eternal life … by being a Jew … “God’s chosen people” … PHYSICAL inheritance. That’s like saying you’re a Christian because you are born in America … and born into a Christian home.
Jesus wants to show them that being saved is a SPIRITUAL inheritance. “inheritance” = ‘what somebody does for you by dying, and because they love you’. As an act of love, Jesus died for you, and gave you an eternal inheritance.
STORY – A rich lady had her $100,000 Rolls Royce up for sale. She was asking $100 for it. A prospective buyer asked her why it was so cheap. She explained: It was in her late husband’s will that the car be sold, and the money given to his beautiful secretary.
10:26-28 – Since Jesus is talking to a LAWYER, Jesus asked him what the LAW said about the GREAT COMMANDMENT. This is the SHEMA … the Jewish Confession of Faith … they read it twice a day (Numbers, Deuteronomy).
STORY – A Surgeon, Engineer and a Lawyer were asked which of their professions were the oldest. The Surgeon said it was his … because in Genesis Chapter 2 God took a rib from Adam to create Eve. The Engineer said it was his … because in Genesis Chapter 1 God made the world out of chaos. The Lawyer replied: “Who do you think caused the chaos?”
10:29 – The lawyer had no problem with God … he had studied God in the Old Testament. He thought he knew all about God … in his head. BUT … he hadn’t APPLIED this knowledge. He had trouble with the idea of “neighbor” – 10:27b. He answers in 10:29 rather flippantly.
He was trying to separate his relationship with God, from his relationship with his fellow man. He was so heavenly minded that he was of no earthly good. The IMPORTANT QUESTION is NOT “who is my neighbor” – 10:29b. He wanted to know who he HAD to love … AND … who he DIDN’T HAVE to love! The IMPORTANT QUESTION is: “To whom can I be a neighbor?” This is what Jesus is focusing on.
The lawyer failed to see this … maybe we do too! He tried to “justify” (10:29) not loving certain people. Maybe we do this too!
There are several characters I want us to look at this morning. When we do, we will see just who our neighbor is – 10:29b. What is a “neighbor”? The person next door … a close friend … other believers … people in Chiefland, Gainesville, Atlanta?
Someone (I don’t remember who) gave a good DEFINITION of a “neighbor” – “Anyone whose need you see, whose need you are in a position to meet.” ALL REPEAT.
I. THE MISERABLE MAN – 10:30
This man is in need of a “neighbor”. Let’s see OURSELVES in this parable. We have either been in this position, know someone who is, or will be in this position. There are WOUNDED people all around us. Perhaps there are some her this morning … wounded … miserable. They feel like life has thrown them on their back … and is kicking them while they are down.
There are people who are WOUNDED:
o In BODY … their health has turned to sickness.
o In SELF-RESPECT – they are defeated or humiliated.
o In AFFECTIONS – they are lonely, experiencing grief, or animosity.
o SPIRITUALLY – they have lost the joy of their salvation, or have fallen into sin.
o ECONOMICALLY – their world is falling apart financially.
BEFORE we can ever BE a neighbor to someone, we need to see WHO IS IN NEED OF a neighbor. DEFINITION of “neighbor” again … ALL REPEAT. There are many around every day, to whom you can be a “neighbor” … anyone in need … whose need you can meet.
II. THE TERRIBLE THIEVES – 10:30