MONDAY, MAY 3
SCRIPTURE: Luke 10:25-37
By: JOSH BOLES
Today we get to cover one of my favorite parables in the New Testament, the Parable of the Good Samaritan. There is so much weight packed into this short story. This parable today is a perfect example of how Jesus speaks to the heart of all who would listen. Jesus has no interest in surface level revelation, but wishes to change our very hearts. This can have big implications for our lives.
We see first in verse 25 that a man of the Law stood up to try and test Jesus. At first it seams that the lawyer is sincere in his question, but we will soon find out his true motives. He asks the question, “What shall I do?” In reality, he has no interest in being taught by Jesus, he simply wishes to justify his own motives. How many of us do this sometimes? We seek wisdom from the Lord, but when it comes down to it, we do not do the things we know we should do.
In response to the lawyers question Jesus asks him, “What is written in the Law, how do you read it?” For Jesus, the Old Testament has reached its conclusion, and the Kingdom of God is now at hand. Jesus realizes that the OT is the perfect standard of faith and practice. The second part of this is something that a Jewish lawyer would know full well. That is why the man quotes the Law and expresses his full devotion to God. We are to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus responds to this by saying, “Do this and you will live.”
In the other Gospels it reads, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” This is so telling of many who practice religion, but do not have a relationship with Jesus. They know all the right answers, but are unwilling to put them to practice. We see this develop as we get further into the story.
In verse 29 we read the Lawyers true motives in wanting to justify himself. When he asks the question, “Who is my neighbor,” we see his complete lack of sincerity. The man was trying to exclude responsibility to certain people by making them non neighbors. An appropriate question would have been, “How can I be a loving neighbor?”
Then Jesus responds with a story that cuts straight to our heart. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was about ten miles and was very treacherous terrain. That alone made it dangerous, but also thieves hid out in the rocks waiting on people to attack. I am sure you know the story really well, so lets just skip to the really important details.
The man who was robbed was a Jewish man, and the two people that passed him were Jewish leaders. The path would have been very narrow, so it is likely that the priest and the levite would have had to take a considerable amount of effort just to avoid the man. Then, her comes a samaritan man who stops and does the right thing.
What you need to know here is that the Jews despised the Samaritans. They thought they were half breeds and were not worthy of any form of dignity. The things an average Jewish man would have said and done to a Samaritan would have been unthinkable things, yet we see the samaritan go out of his way to help this man. He bound his wombs, used his expensive oil, and even gave the innkeeper two days of wages and promised to bring back more.
As we close, Jesus asked him, “Which of these three proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robber?” The man answered, “The one who showed mercy.” Then Jesus gives the lawyer the response that we all must consider, “go and do likewise.”
What we need to understand is that being a neighbor has nothing to do with proximity, or people who are like us. It has much more to do with embodying sacrificial love. This means loving those people that are uncomfortable to us. Loving the people that require personal sacrifices of time, and resources. Do not find yourself being “not far” from the kingdom of God. Be living proof that Jesus lives in you by serving those around you. Be a neighbor this week!