Passage: Luke 10:25-37
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying,
Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
He said to him,
What is written in the Law? How do you read it?
And he answered,
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.
And he said to him,
You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus,
And who is my neighbor?
A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?
The one who showed him mercy.
And Jesus said to him,
You go, and do likewise.
From the context of our Clayton Church value of Connecting, we can appreciate the lesson Jesus teaches throughout this whole passage on the Good Samaritan and the challenge issued out to us: “Who is our neighbour – who is the person we can go and show mercy towards?”
A man of the law attempted to challenge and test Jesus’ theology by asking what was required to inhereit salvation and an eternity with God? Jesus responded by directing him back to the law itself, which the lawyer quoted for him:
To love the Lord your God with every part of our being – our heart, soul, mind and strength. Out flowing from this, the law commanded love to extend to one’s neighbour – to love them as yourself.
Jesus affirmed this understanding, and guided the lawyer to be obedient to this commandment to achieve eternal life. The lawyer however sought to prove himself further by asking who and how to identify the recipients of our love that flows from loving God. Jesus then used a parable to provide clarity to this teaching:
When someone suffers from misfortune and is in need of assistance, we have a wide range of choices and actions to pursue. We can be like the priest or Levite who disregard and even avoid encountering the suffering person. However, the challenge for us is to be like the Samaritan who has compassion and shows mercy. He not only offers immediate assistance and aid to the man, but treats him as he would himself – ensuring the injured man has transportation and is cared for over and above the normal expectations, covering all costs.
With this story told, Jesus then asked the audience/lawyer who was the neighbour, and the clear understanding gleaned by the lawyer – the one who showed mercy and compassion – was indeed correct and to be obedient to the commandment and teaching.
What I Discovered
- Jesus connects with the people we have a natural disposition to avoid, shun or subconsciously judge.
- Jesus taught that showing mercy and compassion are all part of Kingdom values and what it is like to live in the here and now, as believers having an eternal life with God.
I will show mercy and compassion to those around me – my neighbours. I will be slow to judge and speak, listening and caring.