25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him,and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him,and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him,and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
This portion of Scripture is filled with spiritual truths. We’ve read what to do to truly go to heaven, to have eternal life. Jesus referred the lawyer back to God’s Word – He asked him what the Scripture says. Whatever we desire or do, it’s always good to refer back to the Bible.
If you plan something, have a revelation, make a decision etc. it’s always good to refer back to the Bible to see what it says about the matter because the Bible always has the truth about the situation.
People often interpret things the way they want to believe. Often if you take your so-called revelation or what you plan to do, and compare it to the Word of God, you find that it clashes with the clear teaching of the Word of God. It’s always important that what you do, and believe, corresponds with the Bible. It’s always good to test what God’s word says about a situation you believe have been revealed to you. It will save you a lot of frustration.
This man asked the Lord Jesus what to do to receive eternal life. Jesus could easily have answered him Himself but still referred him back to the Bible.
The Lord Jesus here teaches us how to look at problems and questions. Refer it back to the Bible.
All of us want to go to heaven. None want to go to hell. But people don’t want to hear about Judgement and hell – especially in our modern day. We only want to hear about a forgiving and loving God where all go to heaven irrespective of their lives. But Jesus didn’t look at it like that. He says in the matter of eternal life and who will attain to it, that the Bible has the answer and not some other notion or idea of man.
This lawyer wanted to test Jesus, whether what Jesus said was in the law. Jesus’ answer from the Word of God not only thoroughly answered him, but put him into a corner to show him what it practically means.
Do you love the Lord your God with your whole being? Is that true in your life? Is that what others see in you. If you love somebody with your whole being it’s obvious. Everybody can see it – it cannot be hidden.
Jesus gave everything for us. He forsook heaven, came down to earth and took upon Himself our sins and infirmities to save us from hell.
Are you prepared to give everything for Him, are you prepared to die for Him? To love Him with your whole being, reflecting the love He had for us?
A question arose in the heart of the lawyer. He accepted what was written in the Word of God, but he asked, “who is my neighbour?” He wanted to justify himself.
It is wonderful the way the Lord Jesus replied to his queston with the illustration about the man who fell among the robbers and whom neither the priest nor Levite helped, but the despised Samaritan. We so glibly read these words. This was a priest who was supposed to follow God, and teach the people about God, how they should live etc. This man today is the equivalent of a Christian preacher.
If you see a person who is destitute and wounded spiritually, buffeted by the devil, what is your attitude towards such a person? Do you avoid such a person?
Why did the priest do that? We don’t know. Maybe he had an urgent appointment in Jericho. But while avoiding the man he might even have had the Word of God in his hand because he was a teacher of the law.
Do you have patience with a person whose wounded spiritually? Do you have compassion for the person wounded and left half dead?
The next one, the Levite, also passed him by. This one is like the devoted church goer that even sing in the choir.
What is your spiritual life like? Are you a priest or a Levite? But what’s the good if you want to be respected as a devoted Christian, like the priest and Levite, but when you see difficulties you evade them and do not help those in need. Such a so-called Christian hasn’t seen Jesus, and is no Christian at all.
Your life as a Christian should be permeated by the love is Jesus. It should be obvious to all.
These two religious men were very dignified but dead.
But the despised Samaritan saw the wounded man, felt compassion for him, knelt next to him and treated his wounds. The Jews despised the Samaritans, they were like the scum of the earth to them because of historical reasons.
It’s amazing that it’s often like that, the one that is despised and nothing, often think of those in need. Those that are nothing in their own eyes can help those in need.
This despised Samaritan even went further and put the wounded man on his own donkey while he walked beside him. At the inn he looked after him throughout the night and the next day paid the inn keeper to look after him until he returned.
Is that your life? Are you prepared to give and sacrifice of your own to help others? Or do you just look after your own well being? Maybe you have time for other things but no time for those in need.
This portion should shake you to the core.
How much time do you have for the Lord, for the work of the Lord and for your neighbour? What are your concerns? Do you first look after your own or also the concerns of others? How much is the Word of the Lord furthered by your possessions?
Jesus showed the lawyer that the despised Samaritan was neighbour unto the man that fell among the robbers and that he must go and do likewise.
Our Christian life should be practical, permeating the love of Jesus to others.
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
That is what the Lord Jesus did for us to save us. He stripped Himself of His glory and became a slave and even obedient unto death to save you and me. He gave everything.
Let us follow in His footsteps.