KJV Sermon Outlines
The Parable of the
1. Compassion Is Based On Need Not Worth.
In verse thirty we read, “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.” Our compassion is to be driven, not by the “worth” of the
recipient but by the need. Jesus just says, “A certain man…” Today we
would probably just say, “Some guy…” The man is robbed and wounded and
left for dead. He needs help in the worse way.
As the unknown victim lay beside the road a series of three
individuals came along the way. The first passer-by is introduced in
verse thirty-one, “Now by chance a certain priest came down that road.
And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.” A priest came
down the road, but when he saw the man he crossed to the other side
and continued his journey. The priest has been excused by some down
through the years, by saying that he didn’t want to touch the man
because he might have been dead, and this would have made the priest
ceremonially unclean and he would have been unable to carry out his
duties. But I want you to notice it says that both he and the Levite
who came along next are coming “down the road” thus they were leaving
Jerusalem and had already performed their duties.
This is one of the most shocking aspects of this parable when Jesus
told it. The priest was considered the holiest person there was among
the Jews. He was taught the Scriptures. He was entrusted with offering
sacrifices for the sin of the people. He was allowed to go further
into the Temple than “regular” people were. If anyone was going to
reflect the character of God, it would be the priest.
The second passer-by is introduced in verse thirty-two, “Likewise a
Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by
on the other side.” The Levite at least went over and looked at the
man, but perhaps it was no more than the current practice of “rubber
necking” at the scene of an accident to see what had happened. He too
did not feel a need to do any thing to help.
2. Compassion Feels Something
In verse thirty-three we read, “ But a certain Samaritan, as he
journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.”
It would have been shocking for Jesus to have told the people that
this man was helped by just an ordinary man. But it is not even a Jew
helping a Jew, but rather a Samaritan helping a Jew who had been
ignored by his fellow Jews. Given the mutual hatred between Jews and
Samaritans, it would have been more likely to have expected the
Samaritan to finish the guy off. Today we call this story “The Parable
of The Good Samaritan.” In fact the very phrase, “good Samaritan” has
become part of our common language. But this was definitely not a
phrase in use by Jews of Jesus’ day. In fact, they probably couldn’t
have even considered saying the words “good” and “Samaritan” in the
The passage says that “when he saw him, he had compassion,” the Greek
word used here for compassion (splanchnizomai) is a very vivid one. It
comes from a word that refers to the intestines, or bowels. It sounds
pretty gross! But it’s the equivalent of what we mean when we talk
about a “gut feeling.” A gut feeling is one that comes from the
deepest part of who we are. The Samaritan saw the same pitiful man
lying in agony beside the road and his heart churned within him so
that he could not pass by without helping. That’s the way compassion
affects us. It stirs us; it troubles us, it keeps us awake at night
until we do something.
When that Samaritan looked at that suffering man lying half-dead by
the side of the road, something happened in his gut; something that
made it impossible for him to walk away. He didn’t decide to help this
guy on the basis of how worthy he was. He helped him because of how
needy he was.
There is no a logical reason for the Samaritan to rearrange his plans
or to spend his money to help an “enemy” in need. Of all the people
who passed this injured man by the Samaritan had the least reason to
help, he was a no-account in his society before this incident and his
good deed would not change his status in the community at large.
Compassion Not Only Feels Something but
3. Compassion Does Something. (v. 34)
Not only was the Samaritan’s compassion based on the need, rather than
the worth, of the victim, but it caused the Samaritan to feel
something so deeply that it had to be expressed in action. In verse
thirty-four we are told, “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.”
He doesn’t pass by on the other side. He moved toward the injured man.
You must move toward people to express compassion, in order to build
relationships. It is not something that just mystically happens, it
takes concentrated effort. It often is not convenient. But I don’t
want you to forget that the Samaritan is moving toward someone who if
he was conscious would despise him; someone who no doubt would not do
the same for him if the situations were reversed.
Jesus details in a series of six verbs just how active this man’s
compassion was, I want you to underline these words in this verse; he
went to him, he bandaged his wounds, he poured oil and wine on his
wounds, he put him on his donkey, he brought him to an inn and he took
care of him.
In every one of his acts he demonstrated compassion as he responded in
a practical, timely and unselfish way. He put him on his own donkey
which meant that the Samaritan walked.
It is important to recognize that he took the time to take care of
him. We may not be able to help everywhere, or help everyone, but we
can help somewhere and try to do a meaningful work of service.
Compassion Not Only Does Something but
4. Compassion Cost Something. (v. 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.’
This man really went the extra mile, he took this man to an inn and
saw to it that the innkeeper looked out for the recovering victim. He
also promised that he would return and fully reimburse the innkeeper
for any additional expenses that he incurred in caring for this man.
He left money to take care of this man’s needs and he put no limit on
how much he would spend to see the wounded man taken care of. There is
nothing more the Samaritan could have done to show his compassion for
Compassion Cost Something and
5. Compassion Demonstrates Our Relationship
to God (vv. 36-37)
At the conclusion of His story he asks the lawyer one additional
question in verse thirty-six, “Which of these three do you think was a
neighbor to him who fell among the thieves.” The lawyer almost chokes
on his words here. He cannot even bring himself to say the word
“Samaritan” and so he responds in verse thirty-seven with, "He who
showed mercy on him." And for the second time Jesus tells this man to
do something in order to inherit eternal life when this verse
continues with Jesus saying to him, "Go and do likewise." Why does
Jesus say this? Because he realizes that this man will not turn to him
for salvation until he turns from his dependence on “doing” something
to earn eternal life.
The lawyer is left without any of the excuses or the vindication that
he wanted. The second question that the lawyer had asked was, “Who is
my neighbor?” the question had been turned on him and is now, “What
kind of neighbor am I?”
In 1 John 3:16-18, in surely one of the most convicting passages in
the Bible we read, “By this we know love, because He laid down His
life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
(17) But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need,
and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in
him? (18) My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue,
but in deed and in truth.”
James in his practical principles for living the Christian life says
in (James 1:15-17), “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of
daily food, (16) and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be
warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are
needed for the body, what does it profit? (17) Thus also faith by
itself, if it does not have works, is dead”
Compassion demonstrates whether we have we have a relationship with
In this story Jesus is separating the person who has a real
relationship with God from the merely religious. We saw what the
religious folks did when they saw this man bruised and battered by the
side of the road. They kept walking. In fact, they crossed the street
and kept walking.
Perhaps you have identified with this man’s question, “What must I do
to go to Heaven?” The answer is the same, stop trying to inherit
Heaven by doing – instead, believe on Jesus; trust that Jesus has
already paid the penalty for you
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