Sunday, July 28, 2019
The story of The Good Samaritan is a popular one. People have used it to promote political and social change in governments all over the world. We teach it in our children’s Bible classes. It is a great story about caring for hurting people.
THE RIGHT ANSWER
To the lawyer’s credit, he knew the answer to his own first question to Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). Jesus confirmed that he did, indeed, know the answer (vs. 28). For some reason, however, Luke tells us that the lawyer was wanting to justify himself (vs. 29). Why would he feel the need to do this?
He knew the answer and Jesus agreed with him.
“‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”Luke 10:27 (NIV)
Perhaps this is why the lawyer felt that he needed to justify himself. So, instead of asking a question to which he knew the answer, he next asks a question over which there seems to have been a significant amount of controversy. In other words, it was a question that had no correct answer in the realm of political correctness.
“Who is my neighbor?” (vs. 29) may have been controversial when talking about fellow Pharisees or common Jewish people. Were non-Jewish people or their Roman occupiers also their neighbors? Jesus’ story illustrated a wonderful principle of God’s forever kingdom: my neighbor is anyone I meet who is in need.
When Jesus told the story, He was speaking directly to a lawyer who was testing Jesus. The lawyer was there to corner Jesus and win a debate. Jesus was there to break through the religious shell that encased the lawyer’s heart and expose him to God’s generosity. If only he would let Jesus in….