The Good Samaritan
PART VIII: THE MISCELLANEOUS PARABLES
IntroductionThe Parable of the Good Samaritan is found only in Luke
10:29-37.On one occasion an expert in the lawThe Story
stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he
asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal
"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
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
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.IF WE LOVE GODThe priest and the Levite were interpreters of the law.The Interpretation
(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?
WE WILL LOVE EVERYONE
IN DEED AND TRUTH.
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.