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The Good Samaritan

   PART VIII: THE MISCELLANEOUS PARABLES

                     CHAPTER 33
 

                                       Introduction

        The Parable of the Good Samaritan is found only in  Luke
         10:29-37.
  The Story
On one occasion an expert in the law
                   stood  up  to  test Jesus.  "Teacher," he
                   asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal
                   life?"

                        "What is written  in  the  Law?"  he
                   replied.  "How do you read it?"

                        He answered: "`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,  `Love your
                   neighbor as yourself.'"

  "You have answered correctly," Jesus
                   replied,  "Do this and you will live."

                        But he wanted to justify himself, so
                   he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

  In  reply  Jesus  said:  "A   man  was
                   going down from Jerusalem to Jerico, when
                   he fell into the hands of robbers.   They
                   stripped him of his clothes, beat him and
                   went away, leaving  him  half  dead.   A
                   priest happened to be going down the same
                   road, and when he saw the man, he  passed
                   by  on the other side.  So too, a Levite,
                   when he came to the place  and  saw  him,
                   passed  by  on  the  other  side.   But a
                   Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the
                   man  was;  and  when  he saw him, he took
                   pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged
                   his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then
                   he put the man on his  own  donkey,  took
                   him to an inn and took care of him,.  The
                   next day he took  out  two  silver  coins
                   and  gave  them  to the innkeeper.  `Look
                   after him,' he said, `and when I  return,
                   I   will  reimburse  you  for  any  extra
                   expense you many have.'

  "Which of these three do  you  think
                   was  a  neighbor to the man who fell into
                   the hands of robbers?"

                        The  expert in the law replied, "The
                   one who had mercy on him."

                       Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
                   (Luke    10:25-37,    New    International
                   Version).
 

   An expert in the law asked Jesus two questions: 

         (1)  "Teacher,  what  must I do to inherit eternal life?" and
         (2)  "And who is my neighbor?"   (Morgan,  THE  PARABLES  AND
         METAPHORS OF OUR LORD, pp. 176 ff.).

  The expert in the law asked the first question to see if
         Jesus  knew  the law.  Jesus answered the first question with
         another question:  "What is written in the law?"  "How do you
         read  it?"    The  expert  in  the  law  answered  by quoting
         Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. (Trench,  NOTES  ON  THE
         PARABLES  OF OUR LORD, p. 109). (Love God with all your being
         and love your neighbor as yourself).    Jesus  then  replied:
         "Do this and you will live."

              The second question precipitated the Parable of the Good
         Samaritan.

  The  road  from Jerusalem to Jerico dropped 3600 feet in
         20 miles (+2300 to -1300 feet at  Jerico).    Jerome  in  the
         fifth  century  called  it "The Red or Bloody Way" because so
         many people were wounded  and  robbed.    The  traveller  was
         probably  reckless  and  should  have  been  travelling  in a
         caravan.  The priest would have been unclean for 7 days if he
         had  touched  the wounded man (Numbers 19:11).  He placed the
         temple and its liturgy above the pain of  man.    The  Levite
         drew  nearer  to  the man, but he knew that robbers sometimes
         used decoys.   His  motto  was  "safety  first"--he  took  no
         chances.   The prejudiced Jews would suspect that the villain
         had arrived when Jesus  mentioned  the  Samaritan.  (Barclay,
         DAILY  STUDY  BIBLE  SERIES,  LUKE  pp. 140 ff.). However, he
         turned out to be the hero--the true neighbor.

          The Interpretation
   The  priest and the Levite were interpreters of the law.
         (Trench,  NOTES  ON  THE  PARABLES  OF  OUR  LORD,  p.  111).
         However, they had missed the essence of the law: love.  Jesus
         used the Greek word AGAPE, which the  New  Testament  writers
         used  to  mean  the  love  of  God.  It is a love which human
         beings do not have natively.  It is the  gift  of  God.    So
         Jesus  gave the expert in the law a commandment to keep which
         is humanly impossible.  AGAPE does not  exist  in  the  human
         heart  unless  the Spirit of God is there.  And the Spirit of
         God does not take up his abode until the  individual  accepts
         Christ as his personal Savior.

  We are truly impoverished until God takes up  his  abode
         in  our  hearts  and  we  are  given  the  love nature of our
         Heavenly Father.   (See  Chapter 13, "Love," in my book,  HOW
         TO  RAISE YOUR SELF ESTEEM: PROVEN BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES,
         for a  more complete discussion on divine and human love).

    Barclay sees three teaching points in this parable:  

              1.  We  must help  a person even when he has brought his
                  trouble on himself.

              2.  Anyone of any nation is our neighbor.

              3.  Help  must  be  practical,  in  deeds,  not  in just
                  feeling  sorry  for  someone.  (Barclay, DAILY STUDY
                  BIBLE SERIES, LUKE pp. 140 ff.).

   What is the central truth
 

                                      Central Truth
 

  IF WE LOVE GOD
                             WE WILL LOVE EVERYONE
                              IN DEED AND TRUTH.
.
 
                                       Conclusion

  Let  us  pass on true riches to others: the Love of God.
         When we witness for Christ, and people  accept  Christ,  then
         they  experience the new birth and partake of the love nature
         of God.  They are then empowered to keep  the  heart  of  the
         Law,   which is  to  love God with their whole being and love
         their neighbors as themselves.  END.