Summary: How do we look at others? Do we see them as a nuisance or a neighbor? Develop a heart of a good neighbor.


TEXT: LUKE 10:30-37




One day during March break when I was in Brown Trail school of preaching, I went to the Garnett’s for my time off. One day while there The two girls and I went to visit an older gentleman on the back roads in southwest Texas. In Southwest Texas, dirt roads mean that you drive through pastures and rivers in the car. After we visited this guy we left but I got us lost on the way home. There is no road signs. We were starting to run out of gas. Finally, the car stopped in the middle of the river. We all got out and started walking for home. Very few people drove by on the way home. There were a few Suburban that went by and a few nice cars but no one stopped. We were giving up hope. I am sure that we did not scare people, two young girls and one guy. I hope we did not look like bank robbers.

Finally, a truck full of Mexicans drove by and stopped for us. We told them of the situation and they remembered seeing the car stuck in the river. They let us ride in the back and they went back to the car and hooked up the car and pulled it out. They were pulling the car down the road when the rest of the Garnett clan came looking for us.

This is a modern day story of this parable in Luke 10:30-37. Jesus replied and said, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead. "And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. "And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. "But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. "And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ’Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’ "Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."

Jesus is telling the story of the Good Samaritan in response to his conversation with the lawyer. A lawyer comes to Jesus to test him on a religious matter. Now this lawyer is not a judicial lawyer that we have today in the court of law but a lawyer of the religious law. He could have been a scribe. He asked a popular question for that day and for today. He wants to know what he has to do to receive eternal life. Jesus states the two greatest commandments in the Bible that sums up all the other commandments. He says “And he answered and said, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Then Jesus tells him to do this and he will live. The lawyer knows that he has not kept the law perfectly and desires to justify himself by asking “Who is my neighbor. In many debates people want others to define their terms. Jesus changes the whole directions of the question by getting the lawyer to see that one should not ask “Who is my neighbor but “How can I be a neighbor?”

A couple were a neighbor to me when I was in Canada. Charity and I were heading to the Beraden family’s house for a visit and supper. We were on the mountains and extremely lost. We were running late. Finally, I stopped at a house and walked up and knocked on the door. A man answered and I told him my situation. He let me use the phone and phone book and then provided directions to the destination. This man was a neighbor to me.

In the story of the Good Samaritan, people can see other people as a nuisance or a neighbor. The priest and the Levite saw the robbed Jew as a nuisance.

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