The Good Samaritan
We all know the story Jesus told here. It was told to a man who wanted to “justify himself” or excuse himself from the responsibility of loving his neighbor. He wanted to talk of high things, religious things to other people, but to do what God wants for others, he was quick to find an excuse: Who is my neighbor?
Luke 10:30 “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which striped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.”
Now this poor man who was robbed, was only half dead, so there was hope for his recovery: If he could get some help.
Luke 10:31 “And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.”
This priest was no help. Although they were to offer sacrifices in the Temple; they were to also help the people draw near to God in understanding and praise.
Yet he did not take the opportunity to at least see if there was anything he could do spiritually for the man.
After all the man was wounded, and maybe dying.
Instead, he walked to the other side of the road, and passed by.
Luke 10:32 “And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.”
This is worse: the Levite came to the man, looked on his misery, and said nothing. No comfort, or questions. He did not ask if he wanted him to contact his family, nothing.
He just left.
Levites were to help the people who came to the Temple in any way they could. They were the ones who could explain what God’s Word said for them to do, and would be the ones to help them. But there was no spirit or action of help here.
He came, looked at the man, and left. On the other side.
Luke 10:33 “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,”
Finally, some compassion! But wait! This was a Samaritan.
The Samaritans were half Jews, and as such, unclean to have fellowship with.
Some Samaritans resented this, but this man did not worry who the wounded man was. He just helped him.
And what help!
Luke 10:34-35 “And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him: and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”
He bound up his wounds, taking his supplies to do so. Taking time, in an unfriendly place (who knows whether the thieves would come back).
Then he placed him on his beast, and took him to a inn and took care of him through the night.
He then gave the inn-keeper money: two days wages, to care for him.
And promised to pay any other fee for caring for this man.
The Samaritan did not know this man, and if they had met on the streets of Jerusalem before this incident, the man would probably have not even looked his way.
Yet he cared for him as if he were a brother.
Jesus turns to the lawyer, who wanted to justify himself:
Luke 10:36 “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?”
The question was meant to awaken his heart to his own responsibility to others.
What would he answer?
Luke 10:37 “And he (the lawyer) said, He that showed mercy on him….”
(Mercy here is kindness, brotherly kindness. So he gave the right answer. But if that is the answer, what should he be doing!)
“…Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”
You see, it is not just what we say, as Christians, that makes a difference.
It is what we do.