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64: The Good [Samaritan], the Bad, and the Ugly

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Luke 10:25-37

Outline:

  1. The Questions Luke 10:25-29
  2. The Story Luke 10:30-35
  3. The Answer Luke 10:36-37

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Although this is not a confrontational dialogue between the Jews and Jesus, my guess is that the 72 disciples were commissioned somewhere near Jerusalem, sent out east and west, and returned to the same place for their debriefing. Remember, this took time because the 72 + 12 were sent to different towns and Jesus was to follow, visiting all the towns too. My guess is that this commissioning and reporting took place on the Mount of Olives. Jesus will commission all disciples from this Mount just before He ascends and He will return with His Saints [disciples] to this Mount to begin His millennial rule. What does all this have to do with the Story of the Good Samaritan? Little, other than this story is told to “an expert in the Law” which means he most likely was from Jerusalem. After this we see Jesus traveling west to Bethany and then confronting more Jewish leaders [most likely in Jerusalem]. That is why I am guessing this took place near Jerusalem.

Since the “true experts” in the law resided in Jerusalem, near Jerusalem is the Mount of Olives and/or the Garden of Gethsemane. It was a good resting place [a campground] for pilgrims because there were trees, water nearby, and close to the Temple Mount. The Gospels have been somewhat sketchy on all the details of Jesus’ life up to now location-wise and time-wise. Scholars believe this story happens between the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of Dedication [Hanukkah] 6 months before His crucifixion. The recording of Jesus’ life will be more complete from now on and up to His ascension.

This expert in the law comes and asks Jesus “What must I do to inherit eternal life”? Jesus asks “what do you think”? [After all you are the expert.] The man responds correctly quoting Deut. 6:5 that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind and love our neighbor as our self. The man then asks “Who is my neighbor”? Jesus tells Him a story of the Good Samaritan where an “outcast” befriends a man wounded by robbers after a priest and a Levite had purposely avoided the individual. Jesus asks “Who was the neighbor to the wounded man”? Again the “expert” answered correctly saying the Samaritan was the neighbor. Jesus says to go and do likewise. But we do not and can not earn our salvation through good works so what’s the lesson?

Lessons/Applications:

1. Love God so that you can love the unloved.

2. Love the unloved so you can learn to love God. This will make us either proud or humble. We will become proud if we see only what we are doing. We will become humble when we begin to love as God loves, enabling us to love God, and to see what God is accomplishing.

3. The Pharisees loved the practice of law and not the person who wrote it.

4. When we love God:

  • We have the freedom to love our neighbor and not be a slave to self.
  • We have the freedom to love a person [God, neighbor] and not be a slave to passion [rules, self, position, prestige etc].
  • We have the freedom to love, believe, obey, and trust; to grant forgiveness, grace, mercy, and justice to all.

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