Summary: The famous joke for children, explained biblically. This is the story of the good Samaritan with emphasis on the two men who didn't help the man in need.
Turn with me in your bibles to Luke chapter 10. Many of you have heard multiple times the story of the good Samaritan and think that because you have heard it so many times you can't get much out of it. I want to look at this story in a completely different light so you can get something out of it.
Luke 10:30-37. When you think of sin what is your first thought? Naturally the first thought is typically "I did something wrong". Yes sin is sometimes things we did do, but sin can also be things we don't do as well. I want you to notice the first 2 men who saw the man in need.
Luke 10:31 The Priest walked up saw the man and immediately crossed to the other side in refusal to help the hurting man.
Luke 10:32 The Levite saw the man got curious and at least checked on him, but then crossed to the other side to avoid helping the hurting man.
Why did these men refuse to help the man in need? Today we are living in an age where everything is convenient. Drive Thru Restaurants where we don't have to get out of our car to get our food. One stop shopping establishments where we don't have to go to 10 different stores to buy what we need, all of what we need we can get in one location. Shopping online is probably the biggest convenience of all, shopping and not ever having to leave your home.
These two men were so self focused that they didn't help this man based on pure inconvenience. I find it hard to believe the hypocritical thinking on how inconvenient it is to help this man out, but look how much more inconvenient it was to cross over to the other side of the street to continue walking. Sometimes we get so caught up in what "I" must accomplish, "My" tasks for the day, etc. Basically these two men that refused to help the man in need out were chickens. They crossed the road because they were too chicken to get their hands dirty. Worst of all both of these men were so "religious" that they refused to help this man in the name of God. This story clearly points out that the first man was a priest, and the second man a Levite. These two groups of people were the ones that were always around the temple doing God's work, but when it came time to actually do God's work outside the temple they refused because they were self centered instead of reaching out into the community to help others.
Praise God the story doesn't end with the man being helpless. Luke 10:33 says that a Samaritan came by and saw the man. Was he going to do like the other two men did or would he do something different? This man was different, verse 33 says that this man had compassion. This Samaritan bandaged the mans wounds, placed the man on his horse "or" donkey, took him to an inn, and gave the innkeeper money to further take care of the man.
Why was this Samaritan man different? This Samaritan man knew how to sacrifice, and was flexible enough to get out of his own comfort zone to help another man out.
Think about how inconvenient it must have been for the man to bandage this man up, give up his own vehicle, and walk the man to a place for further treatment. Think about how inconvenient it was for this man to pull out his wallet and pay for further treatment for the man in need.
Now I want you to think about this. Think about how inconvenient it must have been for Jesus to leave His comfort zone (The right hand of the Father...Heaven) to come down to earth and be mistreated by the creation that He created. Think about how Jesus was spit upon, beaten, hung on a tree by His own creation. Think about while he was being punished, what was on His mind? Was it His own pain? Was He throwing a pity party for Himself?
The entire time Jesus hung on that tree He didn't have a single thought about Himself. He thought about His mother when He told John to take care of her. He thought about the 2 men on the trees next to Him when He told that man that He will be with Him in paradise. He thought about the people around Him saying "Father forgive them, they know not what they do", And lastly He thought about each and every one of us today who He loves and adores. He took that beating, punishment, humiliation not for Himself, but He did it for us!