Summary: In the parable of The Good Samaritan, Jesus teaches us that if we love our neighbors, we will be moved with compassion to do something for them.
THE STORYTELLER: THE PARABLES OF JESUS #3:
WHO’S MY NEIGHBOUR? (THE GOOD SAMARITAN)
INTRO TO TOPIC: Jesus is the World’s Greatest Storyteller.
• 1/3 of Jesus’ teaching – Parables. Parable: an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
• In His parables, we find wisdom and encouragement for living our daily lives.
THE BIG IDEA: In the parable of The Good Samaritan, Jesus teaches us that if we love our neighbors, we will be moved with compassion to do something for them.
BACKGROUND TO THE PARABLE:
“25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" 27 So he answered and said, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.' " 28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live." 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-29, NKJV).
• A lot of Jesus’ parables were told in response to people’s questions.
• Here a lawyer comes to Jesus with a question: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
• He had a wrong understanding of salvation: You can’t do something to gain an inheritance! An inheritance is a gift. But he thought you had to do something.
• The two greatest commandments in the Bible: Love God and love people.
• The lawyer wanted to justify himself: “Who is my neighbor?” What’s the bare minimum?
1. GOOD NEIGHBOURS HAVE EYES TO SEE:
“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.” (Luke 10:30).
• This man was on an ordinary trip – seventeen miles from Jerusalem to Jericho.
• It was a winding road through narrow mountain passes by many large rocks that provided thieves many opportunities to prey on travelers.
“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.” (Luke 10:31-32).
• Here one would have expected the priest or Levite to stop and help this man!
• These were men of God who served in the temple (like a pastor in a church).
• These religious leaders were too busy to help someone in need.
• QUOTE: No wonder Ghandi said: “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” (Ghandi).
• “But when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” (Matt. 9:36, NKJV).
• Christians need to be like Jesus and have eyes to see, and a willingness to do something.
• Do you see the needs around you? Those struggling financially, depressed, sick, lonely?
2. GOOD NEIGHBOURS HAVE A HEART OF COMPASSION:
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.” (Luke 10:33).
• God will bring ministry opportunities across our paths every day, but we don’t always recognize them because they often come in the form of interruptions:
• A phone call, a knock at the door, a sad post you read on Facebook.
• If you’re too busy to help those in need, then you’re too busy!
A young woman backpacking in Colorado encountered another woman hobbling down a mountain trail. On one foot she wore an improvised shoe made of green twigs wrapped with a strip of cloth. "I lost one boot crossing a stream," she explained. "Hope I can get down the mountain before dark."
The first hiker reached into her own pack and took out a spare sandal. "Wear this," she said. "You can mail it to me when you get home."
The woman gratefully accepted the sandal and set off down the trail. A few days later the sandal arrived in the mail with a note saying: "I passed several people who noticed my predicament, but you’re the only one who offered any help. It made all the difference. Thanks for sharing your sandal with me." (illustration from SermonCentral.com).
• Sometimes it’s the little gestures that can make all the difference!
3. GOOD NEIGHBOURS HAVE HANDS TO HELP:
“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.” (Luke 10:34).