Summary: Doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons is how we are called to live for Christ. Love without boundaries or prejudice!
Date Written: September 16, 2008
Date Preached: September 10, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (Wed PM)
Sermon Series: A Study of the Parables
Sermon Title: The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Sermon Text: Luke 10: 30-35 (NKJV)
30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’
Before we can fully look at this parable with any sort of understanding about it, we need to understand why it was so important that Jesus uses the Samaritan as the ‘good’ person in this story.
The story Jesus uses is a story of doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons, regardless of who you are doing it for! Jesus uses the Samaritan in this story because the Jews believed the Samaritans to be almost sub-human and definitely not part of the people of God.
You see the Samaritans were Jews who had settled in the northern parts of the Promised Land after Israel had subdued the Promised Land. The schism takes place, according Jewish teaching, at the time of King Shalmaneser’s rule over Assyria. King Shalmaneser laid siege to the northern kingdom and overthrew it in 722 B.C. As was custom by a conquering army, many people were deported back to Assyria to be used as slaves and workers in the Kingdom.
With that move, the king would then replace those people with people from his kingdom and settle them in their ‘new’ home away from home so that their culture would spread throughout the empire.
These new residents in the Northern Kingdom began to intermarry with the Hebrews who were not deported and this is where the Jewish people believe the defiling of the Jewish race began with the Samaritans, and from that point on the Jewish people were prejudiced against those who were from Samaria.
One of the derogatory statements a Jewish man could make to another Jewish man was, “You are a Samaritan and you have a demon!” This was the ultimate slur against another Jewish person and would have been considered highly offensive to any Jew.
For us to place this in context in our country we have to go back to some more difficult times in our nation’s history when in our country there was a group of people who were treated less than human… the time of slavery. This was a terrible time for our nation and it was an awful thing that so many believed that these people were somehow ‘less’ than human.
Out of that time came a term that began as a description of race, the term ‘negro’ but it evolved into a derogatory and pejorative term that when used would offend the one being spoken to… I don’t have to mention that term, in fact the mere mention of it turns my stomach, but it is there none the less and even today, several hundred years later, that term still engenders offense and hostility.
The point I am trying to make here is that the way many white people in our country felt about black people is how the Jewish people felt about the Samaritan people… they believed that they were inferior in all levels of life and some even thought they were not even human… but somehow less than human.
I say all this to set up this story and why it was such a powerful statement and teaching by Jesus! He was tearing down social, ethnic and even religious walls by teaching what He was teaching in this story… and I believe that this story was one of the ‘proverbial straws that would eventually break the camel’s back’ in the eyes of the religious leaders of His day.
Now that we have established the baseline and history behind this story, let’s begin to look at this parable and what it says for us as believers today.