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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37

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 same sentence.
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 this man.
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 God.

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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