The Good Samaritan
Then a teacher of the law stood up. He was trying to test Jesus. He said, “Teacher, what must I do to get life forever?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?”
The man answered, “Love the Lord your God. Love him with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” Also, “You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
Jesus said to him, “Your answer is right. Do this and you will have life forever.”
But the man wanted to show that the way he was living was right. So he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
To answer this question, Jesus said, “A man was going down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Some robbers attacked him. They tore off his clothes and beat him. Then they left him lying there, almost dead.
It happened that a Jewish priest was going down that road. When the priest saw the man, he walked by on the other side of the road.
Next, a Levite came there. He went over and looked at the man. Then he walked by on the other side of the road.
Then a Samaritan traveling down the road came to where the hurt man was lying. He saw the man and felt very sorry for him.
The Samaritan went to him and poured olive oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them. He put the hurt man on his own donkey and took him to an inn. At the inn, the Samaritan took care of him.
The next day, the Samaritan brought out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. The Samaritan said, ‘Take care of this man. If you spend more money on him, I will pay it back to you when I come again.’”
Then Jesus said, “Which one of these three men do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by the robbers?”
The teacher of the law answered, “The one who helped him.”Jesus said to him, “Then go and do the same thing he did!”
LUKE 10:25-37 THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
When Jesus lived on the earth many people heard His words gladly with eagerness. But some other people didn’t like Him and asked questions to find fault in Him. But Jesus always answered them wisely so that they could find no fault in Him.
The parable of the Good Samaritan was also an answer to a question that wanted to find fault in Jesus. But it teaches a great lesson for all of us. This parable is well known among people which insists on helping people who are in need with a compassionate heart without discriminating anyone as Jesus had compassion on us and came to save us from our sins when we were sinners and His enemies.
(Verse 25) And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
The concern the lawyer raised before Jesus Christ is a very important one for everyone on this earth as it seeks the way for inheriting eternal life. He did not ask to tell him the way to obtain worldly blessings.
It may seem that he is zealous for God and longing for His kingdom. But he didn’t ask the question for that. He just wanted to know how Jesus would respond to his query. His aim was not to find the way to Eternal life but to find a fault in Jesus.
(Verse 26) He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? ”
As Jesus knew the thought and intention of the lawyer, He did not answer him directly. Jesus wanted to test whether he was really desirous to attain eternal life or not. So He asked back to the lawyer, what was written in the law and what did he knew from the law.
(Verse 27) So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
The lawyer was not a person who doesn’t have any involvement in matters next to God. So when Jesus asked about the laws, he immediately recited what he learned in the law from his childhood. He incorporated all the laws within two laws as he was well versed in the Law.
The first of the two laws he told was about the importance of a person’s relationship with God. One should love God with all of his heart, soul, strength, and mind. There should be nothing that stands before God in his life.
The second law he told was about the importance of a person’s relationship with his neighbor. One should love his neighbor as he loves himself. If he wants someone to treat him in a better way, he should treat them in the same way he wanted them to treat him (Luke 6:31).
(Verse 28) And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
When the lawyer recited the laws he knew which related a person with both God and his neighbor, Jesus told him to do according to those laws and that would bring him to Eternal life. When our relationship with God and our neighbors is appropriate with what the word of God tells us to do with those relationships, we can have Eternal life (Ezekiel 20:11).
(Verse 29) But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
The lawyer could have accepted what Jesus said. But he was not ready to leave his dignity in front of other people. He thought he was fulfilling all the laws of God without fail. So he wanted other people to think great about him. So he asked Jesus who was his neighbor. He would have been so confident that his relationship with God and his neighbors was perfect.
(Verse 30) Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Jesus wanted him to understand that no one is righteous before God without His grace upon us as he justified his good deeds. So He told a parable about a man who went from Jerusalem to Jericho. Jerusalem is a city of blessing and Jericho is a city of curse. It symbolizes our life journey in which we choose curse from blessing by sinning against God.
The traveler fell among thieves and they removed his clothing and he was wounded by them. So he was half dead. We fell into sin and lost the glory of God with which God covered us before. And our inner-man is wounded and we become dead to sin.
(Verse 31,32) Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
A priest came in that way, but he did not have compassion for the wounded man and so he went away. Another Levite came on that way and he too went on his way without having a heart to help him.
No religion that claim to be the perfect way to happiness and peace can save us from our sins. They don’t have any concern for our souls. Religions talk about sin but they don’t know the way to deliver us from sin. So they leave us as such telling that we should get the punishment for our sins all through our lives and in afterlife.
(Verses 33) But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.
A Samaritan came on that way. He had compassion on the wounded man and get down from the animal he was traveling. Similarly, Jesus had compassion on us and so He humbled himself and came to earth to save us.
(Verses 34) So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
The Samaritan cleaned the wounds and bandaged them with wine and oil. Our soul is wounded with all our sins. Jesus washed our sins away with His blood (1 John 1:7) which is compared to wine and anointed us with the Holy spirit which is compared to oil to warn us when we are tempted to sin against Him (John 16:8).
Then the Samaritan took the man in his own animal to take him to the inn for curing his wounds. Similarly, Jesus carried all our sins upon Himself so that we will be delivered from the power of sin.
(Verses 35) On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’
The Samaritan spent his own money for the recovery of the wounded man. Similarly, Jesus gave His own life on the cross as a price for all our souls and saved us from the bondage of sin (Hebrews 10:12).
The Samaritan told that he would pay for whatever amount spent more for the wounded man. When Jesus ascended back to heaven, He told His disciples to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19). If someone brings a soul to God, Jesus will honor him before the Father which will be their reward (Matthew 10:32).
( Verse 36,37) So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Jesus asked the lawyer, which among the three was neighbor for the wounded man. He replied that the Samaritan who helped him.
The priest and the levity for whom there was a special importance given in the society. They were not willing to help the wounded man. But the Samaritans are considered as Gentiles by the people of Judah. So they hated Samaritans. But the one they neglected and considered as unwanted helped the man from death.
The religions were made by for their own convenience. But they were not concerned about the salvation of a person. But we sinned against God and become His enemies. We were alienated from God because of our sins. Even though we hate him and did not accept Him, He had compassion for us. Jesus with His endless mercy and compassion for us came to earth and saved us from sin (Colossians 1:21).
We are now delivered from the bondage of sin by His sacrifice. He wants us to do the same with those who need salvation. We should have the love of Christ that brought Him to us for the dying souls. We should be compassionate enough to bring souls to Christ for their salvation.
Jesus paved the way for the right relationship with the Father through His death (Romans 5:10). As He loved us, we love Him (1 John 4:10,11). He expects us to love our neighbors as He loved us and should have a compassionate heart to help them in their needs. If we love our neighbors, we fulfill the word of God and we will have right relationship with God and our neighbor. Thus we will have eternal life (1 John 3:14-16).