Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: What does the story of the good Samraitan teach us and how should we respond to it

Tell Me a Story

The Good Samaritan

I want you to imagine for a moment, that you are single woman, living in the city. By day you work as a check out girl at a local grocery store and to try and make ends meet you are also working at an all night diner waitressing during the night shift. Life is hard in this age of rising prices.

There are bills that are due, but you had some pretty good tips tonight so you should be able to pay the gas bill and the electric bill that is a week overdue. It is March, but winter has been sticking around longer than expected.

As you get home from your waitressing job, it is about 3 am and as you park the car and get out, you feel the chill in the air. It is about 30 degrees but you only have your spring coat on. You found a parking spot on the street that was only about 2 blocks from your apartment. In the city you could almost classify that as a miracle, especially at 3 in the morning.

You begin walking to your apartment down the street. You get this strange feeling that there is someone watching you. You pick up the pace.

Then you hear footsteps approaching you, running. You run. You don’t feel the cold anymore. Your heart is racing. Then someone grabs you from behind and you feel a sharp pain in your back. You have been stabbed. You scream out for help.

The man stabs you again. You scream again. You see a couple lights go on. The attacker jumps on top of you. Someone screams out from a window for this man to leave you alone. Your attacker takes off. The window closes. You’re lying there. You don’t feel cold anymore. You feel the warmth of your blood on your back.

You notice it is quiet again. There is no one around. The lights that had come on are off again.

Where is that man who opened his window?

Where are the police who have surely been called?

You don’t hear sirens.

You don’t hear anything.

Maybe if you get to your apartment, you can call an ambulance.

You get up, but you are dizzy. You stumble, but catch yourself on a tree. You are feeling light headed now. You fall when you are almost to your building. You crawl up to your apartment door which is in a small enclave. Still no sirens. No help. Then you hear some footsteps coming. Finally, someone to help.

You turn to sit and say please help me, only to discover it is your attacker with the knife. He tries to stab you again but you put your hands up and get stabbed in the hands.

You scream again and his knife finds its way to your stomach.

Through the glass entrance you see a door open up the stairs, and a head peak out.

Finally some help, but the door shuts.

The man continues his attack as you pass out.


Most of you here right now are probably empathizing with this woman being attacked.

You may be outraged that nobody has helped her.

You are wondering is there any compassion in those people, any love at all?

This is because you heard the story.

Stories have much more of an effect on you than if you would have read a headline.

Woman attacked…No one helped.

We could probably read that headline and really not be too moved by it.

Just another problem in our society.

But the story of it affected us.

Stories can teach us things in ways just propositional truth cannot.

Jesus often told stories. Most of his stories were parables, brief narratives that have an intended effect to help people learn something.

Jesus used many forms of teaching, but parables were very common for Him.


For a couple of reasons,

Listen to

Matthew 13:10-13

10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"

11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

"Though seeing, they do not see;

though hearing, they do not hear or understand.”

Those who really did not desire to know God or what God wants would not get it.

But he also spoke in parables so those who desired to understand would remember and think through the implications and truly begin to understand.

Mark 4:33-34

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

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