I come to your Word today, Father, with open hands and an open heart. I come looking to you for life-changing truth.
Read LUKE 10:25-37
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
- Luke 10:27 Deut. 6:5
- Luke 10:27 Lev. 19:18
- Luke 10:35 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘[Grant] us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the world to come, life everlasting.’1
Jews made no distinction between religious and civil law. The lawyer, an expert in the Mosaic Law, knew the Torah – but it is not easy to find eternal life clearly affirmed there. The lawyer was challenging Jesus. He posed the question of the ages, asked by all societies and cultures down through time. How do we find the afterlife? Can we live forever? Eternity belongs to God and so Jesus asked him what God’s law said. In the spirit of the old covenant, the lawyer answered well: loving God and loving our neighbor. The lawyer, however, annoyed that Jesus turned the question back on him, went a step further, trying to trick Jesus. First-century Judaism was obsessed with boundaries, with detailed regulations about relationships between Jews and Gentiles, Jews and Samaritans, men and women, and so on. Protecting these boundaries masqueraded as a religious duty. Within all these strictures, who is my neighbor?
So Jesus tells the ‘good Samaritan’ story and asks the question on which the lawyer had hoped to impale Jesus. Which traveler was the neighbor? The lawyer cannot even bring himself to say ‘the Samaritan,’ but his circuitous answer says more than he intended. Jesus shifts the question from the boundaries of legislated social interaction to the essential nature of neighborliness with a story that shatters the human boundaries of class and ethnicity. The duty of neighborliness reflects the love of God and of others. Mercy sees only need and responds with compassion. Those who show mercy show that they belong to the kingdom, because they exhibit the behaviors of the age to come, the qualities which are the mark of those on the path to eternal life.
With God’s grace, let’s be people of compassion and true mercy, fit for eternal life.
Merciful Jesus, you left heaven to pay my debt, to provide all that I need. Help me to love others with your kind of love, to meet the needs of anyone you place before me. Help me to gladly minister to others in your name—even without being asked and without thought of repayment.
Last Updated on November 13, 2023 by kingstar