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Parable of the Good Samaritan

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
August 31, 2022 12:01 am

Parable of the Good Samaritan

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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August 31, 2022 12:01 am

When we encounter a person in need, our priority should not be to condemn him with questions about how he entered that situation, but to help him. Today, R.C. Sproul expounds on one of Jesus' most beloved parables--and one of the most challenging.

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After telling the parable of the good Samaritan. Jesus asked the question. This was the easiest question that this lawyer of Everest which of the three videos I think was the neighbor lawyer couldn't miss it. He said the one who showed mercy on him screwing up the good Samaritan's abilities is best known. If you grew up in the church. You probably heard it in your earlier Sunday school classes to illustrate what it means to care for others, but the story is so familiar that we can overlook some of the key lessons Jesus one of the stolen Dr. Darcy's poem were going to continue now with our study of the parables of Jesus in this session were going to be look at one of my very favorite parables, and one that's a widely known among church people.

It's the parable of the good Samaritan and we find that in the 10th chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke and understand the impact of this parable, we have to see the context in which Lucas placed this story that Jesus gives so we read in chapter 10 of Luke beginning at verse 25. These were, and behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life.

He said to him what is written in the law, what is your reading of 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.

And he said to him, you've answered rightly do this and you will live, but he wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, and who is my neighbor 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 by chance a certain priest came down that road and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise, a Levites when he arrived at that place came and walked passed by on the other side but a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was when he saw him, he had compassion.

So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and he set them on his own animal brought him to an inn and took care of him on the next day when he departed, he took out to dinner area. 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. So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves. He said he who showed mercy on him.

Then Jesus said to him, go and do likewise. The context in which we get the parable of the good Samaritan is in the context of a brief interrogation that is provoked by this lawyer who comes to Jesus in Luke tells us that his purpose for asking questions of Jesus was not because he was genuinely seeking wisdom from the Lord, but rather his purpose was to put Jesus to the test and so he came saying teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life. And Jesus, knowing that this man is a lawyer said to him, while what is written in the law as a lawyer in Israel was one who was supposed to be a master of the Old Testament law exegesis puts the test to him said if you're an attorney practicing the mastery of biblical law.

What does the law say that you have to do in order to inherit eternal life and the attorney answers by reciting the great commandment he said you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength with all your mind. And I think he just added on this of concluding unscientific postscript, and your neighbor as yourself.

Obviously he had memorized the great commandment is every student of the law had done in antiquity, and so was not much of a test to answer this question for G says that he gave the answer correctly. And so Jesus said to them, you've answered rightly do this and you will live. So Jesus is offering the promise of eternal life. At this point to a person if all they did was to keep the great commandment or to keep the law of God, of course, Jesus knew the people like the Pharisees and people like this scribe or lawyer thought that they did a superb job of keeping the law and in keeping the law, they would merit entrance into the kingdom of God. We know also from Jesus teaching elsewhere that he was trying to get people to say that if they really understood the law. The law would drive them to some other way of salvation, then, by seeking to work their way into heaven by their own good deeds because what the law does is expose our sin and our meeting this if we examine it rightly and I saw how I said is not by accident that the two greatest magisterial reformers of the 16th century Reformation had both been diligent students of the law. Luther and Calvin both had training in the law, and as they studied the law of God. They were driven to the gospel because the law left them in despair, but there was no such experience in the heart of this lawyer. He assumed that he was keeping the great commandment.

And Jesus said, go ahead, you keep it you'll live you don't have anything to worry about, but the lawyer wasn't finished with Jesus.

He wants to probe a little bit deeper and I it's interesting when you're in discussions of theology debating certain issues that one of the standard responses you get from people is what you mean by this will define your terms, that's usually just an escape mechanism from dealing with the matter that is on the table but this lawyer was quick to do that sort of thing. He said well Jesus just who is my neighbor. What does the law Maine when it says I'm supposed to love my neighbor as myself. I understand what it means to love God with all my strength in all my heart and all my mind a lot love my neighbor as I love myself was my neighbor.

Jesus had an abstract question before him, and he could've given an abstract answer.

He could've said, well, your neighbor may be defined as somebody who lives next door to you or on the street where you live or even more broadly extended to anyone who lives in your neighborhood anybody in your neighborhood can be construed as being your neighbor now among the Jews, and particularly among the Pharisees. They gave a very narrow definition of who was one's neighbor. For them it would be a fellow Jew and a fellow right just to presumably like one of the rest of the Pharisees and they distinguished between themselves as righteous men and the people of the land.

The lower class people and certainly people who were outside of the nation of Israel were considered outside of the neighborhood of God and of those outside of the Jewish neighborhood. Perhaps those most despised would have been the Samaritans, who during the captivity. Some of those who remained intermarried with pagans and produced what the Jews considered a halfbreed race of semi Jews and the Samaritans had their own temple and Gerace him that they favored over against the temple worship in Jerusalem. As you recall from Jesus discussion with the woman of sidecar for the woman at the well. Also, when the Jews came back from captivity and tried to rebuild the temple, the Samaritans harassed them by throwing dead eggs into the construction area and that would contaminate and defile the holy ground and they would have to go through a couple of weeks of re-sanctification and put the construction on hold why they dealt with all of this harassment at the hands of the Samaritan so there was very bad blood between the Jews and the Samaritans and we are told elsewhere that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans and in fact Jesus shock people. When he traveled from Judea to Galilee that he even went through Samaria to get where he was going rather than going the roundabout way that the Jews customarily did so now Jesus answers the question about the neighbor by telling this story he tells a story of a man, presumably a Jewish person who has gone from Jerusalem down to Jericho. This is not Old Testament Jericho. The walls came tumbling down. This is New Testament Jericho about 17 miles away from the city of Jerusalem in the 17 miles is through some rather desolate countryside and New Testament Jericho. It's a town that is built around a rather large oasis and that was the attractive point and so merchants would frequently travel from Jerusalem down to Jericho to sell their wares because there were people living there on this oasis property but is also then and even to this day, a favorite place for those who were highway men were thieves who would lay in wait for somebody who was traveling alone.

Perhaps an unprotected small group of merchants they would hide in the rocks and when they evening would come, they would fall upon them and rob them of their wares. And so Jesus movement telling a story that actually took place.

This may not have simply been a made up illustrative parable. In this case was as the man was going down the Jericho on the way he fell among see's who stripped him of his clothing wounded him obviously stole everything of value that he had and beat him severely and they left him as the parable says half dead, so that this victim of the savage pleading from the thieves was left in such a situation that obviously if no one rendered him help or if no one came to his rescue. He would surely die. There naked alone beaten to the place of thing.

Half of the rest of the story tells of people who saw this poor man buying the street and what their reaction was by chance a certain priest came down that road and we saw him, he passed by on the other side. It's not that he failed to see he saw the man he saw him lying there in a heap and obviously from the priest vantage point, he couldn't tell for sure whether this poor man was dead or alive, and so he gave the man a wide berth walked to the other side of the road know why was that while there were all these laws among the priests and among the Pharisees and the Levites and the rest had to do with defilement and cleansing rituals and one of those laws said that you were not allowed to touch a corpse and if you touched a corpse, then you would have to go through all kinds of cleansing rituals in order to resume your priestly activities so this man, fearing that the fellow who would fall among the thieves was dead. He wanted as far around him as he could. He didn't want to have to go through these rituals of cleansing that would interrupt the normal course of his priestly activities and so he went the other side of the road and we read. Likewise a Levite Levites consecrated in that whole tribe to do the works of God and of teaching. When he arrived at the place she came and looked and he passed by on the other side so we know these two men who are members of the clergy who been set apart for, among other things, performing works of mercy not only didn't stop to help this man saw him there. They looked at him once on the other side and gave no help what so ever.

As far as they were concerned with the man wasn't dead already.

He certainly would be as a result of their refusal to give any ministrations to now we read in the parable of the third man who comes along and he is identified not as a priest, not as a Levite that Jesus chose this carefully as a Samaritan and he said, a certain Samaritan. This parable is called the parable of the good Samaritan in a few told the Jews the cemetery parable of the good Samaritan, the Jew would say that's an oxymoron.

There's no such thing as a good Samaritan are you gonna tell me the story of a dead Samaritan because the only good Samaritan is a dead Samaritan in their view that this man was very much alive and he comes along and we read this. He came to the place where the man was. Here's perhaps the most important sense of the whole person and when he saw him, he had compassion. This was exactly what the priest and the Levite did not have. They felt nothing for this miserable wretch that was lying naked in the street when the Samaritan saw this man brutally beaten. He had compassion the limit to stop her for second historical gun like this with the Samaritan saw this man in the street felt awful for this fella had overwhelmed with the sense of pity and then walked to the other side and went on the street in an the compassion that he led him to action.

He didn't just fail. Say a prayer for your file. I feel your pain and go on. He acted to do everything in his power to show mercy to this enemy who had fallen among thieves. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine and after he anointed this man in his misery. He picked them up man obviously could walk and put him on his own animal on his own beast of burden, presumably meaning that the Samaritan would then walk next to the donkey or to the camel or whatever it was giving up his seat so that this injured man may have a place to ride and brought him to an inn and go to the hospital to the emergency room and just leave him at the emergency room then go on about his business because he has an appointment in Jericho. His whole day. His whole journey. His whole business has to be put aside because a top priority for the Samaritan is gotta see to it that this man is taken care of, so he takes them to the in he gets in the room in the in he make sure that the fella gets everything he needs at the in all the food and all the care and on the next day he stayed all night in the end, simply because of this poor man when he departed, he took out to dinner area and gave them to the innkeeper and said to him, take care of him. Whatever it takes to take care of whatever it costs.

Take care of him. You know me I make this trip regularly. I'll be back the next time I'm in this neighborhood and whatever I owe you. I will pay you at that time.

Thereafter, the story Jesus says to the attorney. Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to him who fell among the thieves again.

This was theology 101. This was the easiest question that this lawyer had ever been asked which of the three men.

Do you think was the neighbor lawyer couldn't miss it. He said the one who showed mercy on him. He didn't just feel compassion. He showed compassion and in this story Jesus is not just simply in joining us to treat people who were armed or hurt your need with mercy and compassion again. The whole point of the story is answer the question, who is my neighbor.

There are no limits.

Jesus no ethnic limits. No geographical limits to the neighborhood of the kingdom of God. You know, we hear from 19th century liberals that God is the father of us all, and that we have this universal brotherhood note we don't have a universal brotherhood in the New Testament the brotherhood is made up restrictively of all those who are in Christ. Christ is the only begotten son of the father and he is our elder brother. The only way we entered this brotherhood is through adoption and people who don't believe in Jesus are not in this brotherhood. There is no universal brother what there is is a universal neighborhood that is every human day created in the image of God is my neighbor, which means I am call. This is radical stuff. I am call to love every human being on the face of this earth as much as I love myself even if he's not a part of the brotherhood.

It is not in the household of faith. He's still my neighbor. I mentioned this recently in the sermon. When we see people in need will ask them how they got there.

Our job is not to condemn the person who's fallen into the gutter and say how did you get there if they're in the gutter. It's our job to help them out Y because we would want to be held and that person is my neighbor and I'm supposed to love my neighbor like I love myself to Susan. Do this pretty simple lesson visited but that is sometimes difficult to put into practice the warnings we find, though in these parables are meant to motivate us to take life and eternity. Seriously, how we love others matters in God's kingdom referred a poignant summary of this parable today here on Renewing Your Mind.

And though all week we are featuring Dr. RC Sproul series the parables of Jesus. So far we've learned about the Pharisee and the publican. The unforgiving servant and today the good Samaritan. It's a series that takes us up close and personal with the teachings of Jesus, let me come in the series to you.

There are 12 messages on two DVDs and we will send them to you today for your gift of any amount to look at your ministries. You can find us where you can call us with your gift at 800-435-4343 you'll find thousands of additional resources, both online and when you download our free app sermons teaching series video and audio messages and articles are available at the touch of a button.

Download the free app when you search for it in your favorite App Store just look for Liggett here that's LYG O in IE are today. We looked at that familiar story of the good Samaritan tomorrow.

RC will focus on perhaps the best known of the parables.

The prodigal son. It's another one of those stories in which we can miss the most important points.

Jesus wanted us to learn. I hope you'll join us Thursday for Renewing Your Mind

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