A lawyer, one who was an expert in the Law of Moses, asked Jesus a familiar question: "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" But he really didnít want to know the answer, he was only trying to trick the Lord.
Jesus responded by asking the lawyer a question in return: "What is written in the law? how readest thou?" The lawyer immediately quoted Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18. You see, he knew the answer, but he wasnít doing it! He had a head knowledge, but wasnít living out the truth. Jesus told him, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live." (Luke 10:28)
This manís insincerity is further evidenced by the next question. ",,,willing to justify himself..." rather than responding to the Lord and seeking His help, he asked "who is my neighbor?" It was to answer this question that Jesus began to teach this parable.
Through this parable Jesus teaches us how to love our neighbors and shows us who they are. What do we see when we look at others? There are several characters in this parable. The thieves, the religious men, the Samaritan, and the Ďcertain maní. Note: v30-37
I. The thieves saw a victim to exploit. v30
A. They did not view the man as a fellow human being.
B. They did not care about his individual needs.
C. They only sought to take from him anything of value.
II. The religious men saw a nuisance to avoid. v31-32
A. The road to Jericho was often traveled by religious men of the day.
B. Religion = manís attempt to make himself acceptable to God.
C. It is empty, cold, and lifeless.
D. Again, it is centered around man rather than God.
E. These men avoided this man who was in desperate need.
1. Perhaps they thought that their service was fulfilled with their work at the temple.
2. Or maybe they saw no obligation to help the man in need, after all, they didnít do anything to hurt him.
3. Maybe they were thinking what all too often many of us think: ĎLet someone else help, I am just too busy.í
4. Whatever their thinking, they each avoided coming into contact with the man, and passed him by.
III. The Samaritan saw an opportunity to minister to the needs of the man. v33-35
A. In doing so, he becomes an example of how we ought to respond to others.
B. He made no excuses, had no ill motives, but simply did what he could to meet the need he saw.
C. His ministry involved four major points.
1. Compassion = placing yourself in the individualís position and then acting the way you would want others to act if it were you.
2. Contact: he refused to allow the man to stay in the condition he was in...he came to him to help him.
3. Care: once he made contact he did something about the needs the man had (cleansed, soothed, and bound up the manís wounds).
4. Cost: a ministry that costs nothing accomplishes nothing.
"Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?" (Luke 10:36)
"And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise." (Luke 10:37)