Listen | Watch | Luke 10:25-37
We begin a new series of messages today in order that we might discover together some of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. We are going to look at seven different parables of Jesus. The Bible says, “And the disciples came and said to Him (meaning Jesus), ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ He answered and said to them, ‘because it has been given to you (meaning the disciple) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 13:10-11a). The Greek word is musterion and it means something that was hidden in the past, but now has been made known. In the New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson describes a parable as, “a short, simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth.” We begin our series with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Dr. J. Vernon McGee calls this parable, “The best known of the parables.” Dr. Herschel Hobbs says of this parable, “It has built hospitals…inspired men to meet needs.” So, let’s begin looking at this parable which has been said to have the potential to “revolutionize the world.”
The occasion is, “a certain lawyer (meaning someone who was an expert in Mosaic Old Testament law) stood up and tested Him” (v. 25).
The question v. 25
Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?Religion says there is something you must DO. The problem is that you can’t inherit eternal life. It is not Jesus plus or minus something. It is Christ alone! The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). Eternal life is His life. In order to have His life, you must receive Him by faith! Our entry into heaven is not on the basis of self-righteousness, but upon His righteousness.
The answer vv. 27-28
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.The man gave a good answer. He quoted the scripture. Love God and love your neighbor. Jesus called these the first and second greatest commands. All of the commandments are built on these two. Jesus had made it very simple. The problem with this religionist is that he had kept neither. He should have been crying out that I am trying to do these things, but I can’t on my own…I need your help!
The trip v. 30
The Bible says, “A certain man went down.” He went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. It is a picture of lost humanity moving away from God. Sin always leads in a downward direction. Mankind is not evolving; they are devolving.
The trouble v. 30
The Bible says, “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 (v. 30b). This man was in a bad way. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is Genesis 3:23 which says “therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden.” Adam was the first man to be in a bad way. Adam had died spiritually due to sin, and he began the process of dying phisically. From Genesis 5 forward, there is a reoccuring them of death…and he died…and he died. Death is a result of sin. Bruised, beaten, bleeding, and broken is the story of mankind. This is a picture of man without Christ. Humanity is now suffering due to sin: emotionally, physically, economically. Because of our waywardness we see homes that are broken, marriages falling apart, and our sons and daughters addicted. The Billy Graham Evangelical Association says of every 100 homes:
- 7 struggle with suicide
- 7 struggle with drugs and alcohol
- 14 feel trapped by fear and anxiety
- 8 are struggling to find a job
- 60 do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior
Stripped, robbed, wounded by sin.
The test vv. 31-35
Notice here that three men passed by, and two of them passed by on the other side. Martin Luther said, “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was; ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ The Good Samaritan reversed the question, ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Christianity is not about me but about others. What is Jesus teaching here? He is teaching us that religion and rituals cannot save us from our sins. He is teaching us that the Law is not designed to save us. The Law is designed to humble us. The Bible says, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24). A tutor is someone who teaches us. The Law teaches us that if we are going to be justified before God, it must be by faith in His Son. Jesus knew that this man had not kept the Law. Jesus understood that he was a lawbreaker. Jesus says, “A certain Samaritan.” The Jews could not stand the Samaritans. And the Bible says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20). Jesus is showing this man that he has broken both of the laws he had quoted earlier. The Life Application Bible notes state:
- To the lawyer, the wounded man was a subject to discuss
- To the robbers, the wounded man was a problem to avoid
- To the inn keeper, the wounded man was a customer to serve for a fee
- To the Samaritan, the wounded man was a person worth being cared for and loved
- To Jesus all of them were worth dying for
Jesus died for all of them…for all of us…for everyone.
How are we to conclude? Our neighbor is anyone in need…anyone that needs our help. Most church members are like the fellow I heard about that wrote his girlfriend this note, “I’d climb the highest mountain for you, I would swim the deepest ocean, I would cross the widest river, I would walk across burning sands barefoot just for you! P.S. If it is not raining, I will be over to see you Wednesday night!” Listen church! The world is among thieves and needs our help! There are so many that need our help, that are lost, that have no hope. In the words of Stewart Biscoe, “the world is wrong, they have done wrong, and they are going in the wrong direction.” We sing, “I was sinking deep in sin (going down), very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more (going in the wrong direction), but the Master of the sea (Good Samaritan Jesus) heard my despairing cry, from the waters lifted me now safe am I ( I am in the Inn waiting on the Master to return). What does it cost you to minister to your neighbor? Not one red penny because Jesus said you make the investment and I’ll pay it back when I come.
We should be like the firemen who held the water hoses in West, TX prior to the explosion at a fertilizer plant. They helped people those people in need. They risked their lives by holding the water hose for others to escape.
- 14 people died
- 200 injured
- 142 homes destroyed
- 350 homes damaged
The sacrifice and bravery of those firemen will never be forgotten. It was said at the funeral of Jerry Chapman, who saved the lives of others yet sacrificed his own, “His faith in God and fellow firefighters gave him the strength to lay down his life for others.” Wouldn’t that be something if it could be said of us. I pray that our faith in God as fellow Christians will cause us to put our lives on the line to help others. To help especially those who do not know Christ Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Let us not be focused on the self. Let us be focused on those who need our help.