The passage in Luke begins, when a teacher of the law, asked Jesus a question so as to test Jesus.”Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life.” Jesus answered the question with a question. “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” The teacher of the law responded,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) The teacher of the law wanted to justify himself so he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
We have 4 characters in this parable:the teacher of the law (sometimes referred to as the lawyer, the priest, the levite, the Samaritan.
Jesus tells a story about a man who was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers and left him half dead. Then came the priest who when he saw the man, he passed by the other side. A Levite came along and when he saw the man, he also went to the other side of the road. Both men were religious leaders.
The third was the Samaritan. The Samaritans were often not treated well among Jews. They are the outsiders. The expected response in this story is that the priest and the Levite were to help the wounded man(a Jew). The Samaritan has the right to keep on walking. But he did not. He showed compassion.
The Samaritan did three things: he came near, he saw him and he showed mercy. Unlike the other two, he came near. He was willing to put himself in the same space as the wounded and beaten man. It is by being close to him that he saw the man and he was filled with compassion.
Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan in response to the lawyer’s question, “What must i do to inherit eternal life?” The lawyer takes pride in his following the law. He does not see how loving God and loving his neighbor is connected.
The gospel of Jesus is not about good intentions, it is about action. The Good Samaritan came in time to help the wounded man who is in pain and suffering.
Jesus is our Good Samaritan. He did not have to suffer the cross, but he saw our sinful situation and he felt our pain. He comforts us in our troubles. It is in our brokenness that he came to us.
Jesus Christ, is the father of all compassion, “who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
1) Which characters in the passage can you identify with? The teacher of the law, the priest, the levite, the Samaritan? Why?
2) Who is my neighbor? Or the question could be to whom can I be a good neighbor?
3) What does it look like to be a neighbor today?
4) What kind of a world is Jesus asking us to live? What barriers do we see that prevents us from showing compassion?
5) How can we pray for each other, our families, DNA group, Village, the world?