Luke 10:25-37 - I wonder how far the good Samaritan would go to care for the stranger? Would he still be there in a year and thousands of coins later if needed?
I pray you already know the parable of the Good Samaritan. If not, please give it a read. Listed below is the parable taken from www.biblegateway.com (NKJV) My notes are in purple and listed inside of the parentheses. Key verses listed in bold text).
25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him (Jesus was being tested), saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” (Jesus was asking the lawyer what was his understanding/interpretation of the law)
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.’”
28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (noticed the text said, "he wanted to justify himself", the theology meaning of justify is declare or make righteous in the sight of God. Have you ever felt like you caught someone off guard. This will trip him up and I can prove I am better than them. That's right I know more, I'm better, You're not all that?)
The Parable of the Good Samaritan - Who is my neighbor?
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.
31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan (Samaritans were pagan half-Jews considered immoral, there was a hatred between Jews and Samaritans), as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. (The Samaritan was showing compassion for his enemy)
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. (Amen!)
35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii (his own money), 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.’
(After telling this story, Jesus asked the lawyer... who was the neighbor to the injured man?)
36 So which of these three (Priest, Levite, and Samaritan) Who do you think was the neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
I've read this story many times and never realized Jesus was speaking about himself. What was to come. The original question was, "How do I inherit eternal life?" We must accept Jesus' gift of salvation. It can not be earned, it must simply be accepted with open hands.
Jesus was robbed, beaten, and crucified. Jesus was innocent of any sin and did not deserved the penalty of death. He paid the price, so that we could live and have eternal life. Then Jesus asked us to (CROSS) Love God and Love Each other. Remember verse: 27 So he (Jesus) 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.’”
Why did I chose this story today... let me get real.
It's sometimes easier to help a stranger or even an enemy than it is for your own family members. Hurts run deep and the world says "Not my problem" One of the hardest things to do is truly forgive. Forgiveness needs to run deep. Meaning there are 3 levels of forgiveness:
1. Verbally (Using your Words)
2. Emotional (Involving your Feelings)
3. Biblically (Straight from the Heart) aka True Forgiveness
Sometimes, we have to continue to dig deep and reach level three. Smile
Recently, I have a family member who is very ill. I have not seen them in years and if you were to ask... the times I did see them were not pleasant. In fact, not much good news or wishes to report about them at all, but I won't go into that. Currently, they need help and I seem to be the only solution. Helping them will be time consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining. Like I don't already have enough going on. I asked the Lord, can I not wash my hands of this mess. Mess not of my doing and mess from people who only turned their backs on me.
Guess where the Lord sent me for bible study... The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Smile
If you know me, you know I suffer from the sin of gluttony. This verse helps me cope with my sins:
1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMPC)
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
It's not easy to remind yourself that ... the lord will not put more on us than we can bear and he will provide a way of escape. I use this prayer when I want to emotionally eat, I run to this verse instead of the food. I also look for an escape route that Jesus has always provided, yet I have not always chosen to take the out. Sometimes I just want to give into the temptation and feed my flesh. It feels good and gives me instant happiness and provides painful weight gain, lack of energy, aches and pains the next day. Uh, did I forget get to mention the self condemnation that goes with it. LOL
There is a path that leads to Life and a path that leads to Death. Think about the decisions you made yesterday, how many times are you choosing the wrong path?
So, what does this have to do with the Good Samaritan and my ill relative?
It may be out of context, but I want to also use verse 1 COR 10:13 for strength to do the right thing for my relatives. I want to be a good neighbor to them. I want to know that when times are tough, I can run to God and that God will not put more on me than I can bear, and that I can Trust Him, and I can do this, and when something is not possible, God will provide me a way of Escape. God will enable me to be capable and strong and powerful to bear up and handle the stress patiently as I sit in the eye of the storms.
Today, I ask that your action item be to pray for me and my family as I also pray for you and yours.
Father, you are El Emet, the God of Truth. (Psalm 31:3 - 5) For you are my rock and my fortress, therefore, for your name's sake, lead me and guide me in all things. Pull me out of the net my enemy has secretly laid for me. For you God are my strength. Into Your hands I commit my spirit, You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I purpose and choose to forgive -------------(the person(s) from my heart for ---------------------------(what they did). In the Name of Jesus. I cancel all their debt and obligations to me. Dear Lord, I ask you to forgive me for my un-forgiveness and bitterness towards then in the situation. Help me to be a help to them, Your will not mine be done. Prepare me with your wisdom, clarity, and understanding in all things, so I may make right decisions. Decisions on the path of righteousness.
(I Cor 10:13) No matter what comes my way, I will rest in You Father. For you are faithful to Your Word Lord. No trial will come to me that I can not handled with your Love, Mercy, and Grace. I ask you to strengthen me, so I may have the power to endure what is to come. Help me to rest in the center of the storms and walk on water as I keep my eyes on You. (Mathew 14:22 - 33) Help me not to fear, because I know you will always stretched out Your Hand to save me. Help me Father not to doubt... and keep my focus on You... I can walk on water. Help me to walk along the path of righteousness as I learn and become the good Samaritan. Help me to be an encouragement to those who are going thru the same situations in life. I love you Jesus. I trust You and I put my trust in You for all things. I am Yours totally (mind/body/soul) yesterday, today, and tomorrow.