Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 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. 35 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. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
There are two possible thoughts in the mind of the lawyer. He could have been serious, wanting to know the answer that Jesus would give. Or he could have been trying to put Jesus on the spot before the people. (He didn’t have that capability.) Jesus knew what was coming. I believe this is the reason because verse 25 says he was tempting Jesus. He wanted to stump him. A lawyer was an expert in Old Testament scriptures. He probably could have quoted any passage he’d been called on to repeat. Many of us can quote John 3:16; we learned it as a child in Sunday school. If we’re not careful the verse loses its impact. Do you see it as a three part message: God’s love, his gift, and his promise? That’s still the message. “For God so loved the world”….that’s not just the earth which he created. It’s the people who inhabit the earth. He loves us. “He gave his only begotten son.” The gift is Jesus, God’s son. He is heaven’s best, not an imitation. “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The promise? Everlasting life. When we put our trust in Jesus as Savior we got eternal life at that moment. One day I’ll cease to live this life, but it will continue on and on in heaven. We forget. The lawyer probably had. When he quoted verse 27 to Jesus he was quoting scripture in Deuteronomy and Leviticus.
The parable: Thieves treated the man as an object to exploit. The priest treated the man as an object to avoid. The Levite treated him as an object of curiosity. He looked but passed on by. The Samaritan treated him as a person to love and care for. I see some things here. (1) With a lack of love it’s easy to justify what you do. It takes the Lord and the Holy Spirit to love someone when they are unlovable. (2) A neighbor is anyone in need, not just the person next door or up the road. It’s people no matter where you meet them. (3) The Samaritan acted to meet a need. True love goes into action.
Jericho is 17 miles down from Jerusalem, approximately 3,600 feet lower in elevation. Not only was the trip physically down from Jerusalem, it was morally downhill. The morality of the city was terrible. People didn’t care how they lived. We’re in Jericho today. This was a trip you wouldn’t take by yourself or after dark because thieves hid waiting on people to come down the way. In verses 31-33 we see a priest and Levite come by the injured man. They should have been the very ones to help him. Yet it is the Samaritan who had compassion. There was a lot of hostility between the Jews and Samaritans. Jews saw themselves as the only true descendants of Abraham. Guess what. That won’t get them to heaven. The Pharisees said only Jews were their neighbors, certainly not a Samaritan. Yet it was the Samaritan who invested time and money to care for the man. He paid up front and expected to pay more when he returned. When Jesus asked the lawyer which man had been a neighbor. The lawyer couldn’t even bring himself to say “the Samaritan.” Instead he said He that shewed mercy on him.
First to the Christians. We ought to show kindness to those we come in contact with. It’s hard sometimes. Most of the people we’ll meet tomorrow are hungry for some gesture of kindness. People get knocked down by the world everyday. God help us not to knock down. Christians ought to be the kindest people in the country. Let’s get rid of the sour attitude. At times the negative wants to come out. Remember this old saying: if you can’t say something good, don’t say anything. Remember when we want to say bad things about others, there is a lot we can say about ourselves. Just be kind to one another. The thief put him in the ditch. Society puts people there. Our job is to help get them out. Lend a helping hand. Take the time. It will cost you something to be nice. Second to the non-Christian. The physical condition of the injured man is symbolic of you as a lost person. Wounded. Weak. Broken. Bleeding. Dying with no remedy and you can’t get yourself out of the ditch you’re in. That was me when I was lost. Thank God for one who helped me out of the ditch. Jesus supplied and I was lifted up.
The priest represents the law. Could the law save? It could not. The Bible tells us that it simply showed people their sinful condition but couldn’t save them from it. The Levite represents morality. Some think that if they live a good life and their good outweighs the bad, in the end they will go to heaven. Good deeds won’t save. There is no purgatory after this life to make things right. The only way is Jesus. The blood of Calvary lifted us out of the ditch. If morality could save, Jesus would not have died. We all need more morals, but a good moral life won’t get you to heaven. It takes Jesus in the heart. The Samaritan represents Jesus and salvation. Jesus looked down, saw us dying in the ditch and was moved to compassion and implemented a plan of salvation. The Samaritan came to where the man was. That’s what Jesus did. The incarnate Son of God came out of heaven to dwell among us and bring us salvation. He took the man to the inn for his care. The inn is the church. The unsaved need to be rescued and placed in a local church and cared for.
I see some truths in the statement in verse 35. 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. On the morrow when he departed: Jesus didn’t stay on earth. He came down, went to Calvary and gave his life. He was buried. Satan had a party. He thought he’d won, but on the third day Jesus arose. He’s alive forevermore. He went back to heaven. When I come again tells us Jesus is coming again. Nobody is looking for the Lord. With all going on in the world, we have lost sight of this. Acts tells us he left bodily and visibly. He’s coming back the same way. The trumpet will sound. We’ll see him. The dead in Christ will rise first and then we’ll be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. We’re going home! I will repay thee. When Jesus comes back, we’ll get rewarded. Going to heaven will be enough. Because the Lord came by and breathed life into us, it will be wonderful to go to heaven to be with him. The Bible teaches there will be these five crowns. (1) Soul winner’s crown for those who win others to Christ. (2) The crown of life is for the faithful. (3) The crown of glory is for the preachers and teachers of the gospel. (4) The crown of righteousness is for those who love Christ’s appearing. (5) An incorruptible crown is for those who run the race effectively.
If you’re not a Christian, you will meet God at the Great White Throne Judgment. This is the payday for rejecting Jesus as Savior–eternity in hell. There are only two places to go after this life. Heaven for the saved. Hell for the lost. As you leave this life is how you’ll meet the Lord. There is no place to make things right with God after you die. Preparations to go to heaven must be made here and now before you die. Make your preparations today.