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The Good Samaritan, Part 1 -17

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2020 12:00 pm

The Good Samaritan, Part 1 -17

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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August 2, 2020 12:00 pm

Pastor Mike Karns explains our common misunderstanding of the parable Jesus told about the good Samaritan. What did Jesus want the questioning lawyer to understand-

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The good Samaritan.

I was struck as I prepared for this message. How some of my preconceived ideas that I've carried into the text were corrected because I'd really misunderstood the whole point of the parable and I think you probably be struck similarly and unfortunately it's a reminder that familiarity does not necessarily bring accuracy. Some of the things that people are most familiar with are often times misunderstood so I don't know if about you, but sometimes when I'm so familiar with something else that I know I and then sold whatever preconceived ideas you have about what this parable means just park it for now and listen, and if you don't agree with my exposition talk to me later. I'm not trying help you follow my reasoning so you can see why I am understanding this the way I am.

So there's a setting here. The setting is a certain lawyer notice verse 25 behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him saying certain lawyer stood up testing so apparently Jesus was teaching. He was the one standing. Everybody else was sitting in this man stood and asks a question lawyer lawyers were students and interpreters of the Old Testament Scriptures. They were called scribe so teachers of the law, and as a group they were religious hypocrites who paid attention to outward forms of religion but in their hearts they had no humility and they had no desire to know God whose revealed in Scripture.

Just so you understand who these people were and how Jesus referred to them just turn a page or so in your Bible to Luke 11 Luke 11. I want you to see what Jesus says about these scribes he were reserve some of his most stinging rebukes for them. Luke 11 verse 45 then one of the lawyers answered and said to him, teacher by saying these things you reproach us also. They got that right. And he said well do you also lawyers for you, little man, with Burton is hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers, verse 47 woe to you for you build the tombs of the prophets in your father's killed them. In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers, for they indeed killed them and you build their tombs.

Therefore, the wisdom of God also said I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed on the foundation of the world may be required of this generation. Verse 52 woe to you lawyers, for you have taken away the key of knowledge.

You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering and you hindered verse 53 and as he said these things to them, the scribes and Pharisees began to assail him vehemently and cross and cross-examine him about many things lying in wait for him and seeking to catch in in something he might say that they might accuse him see the heart of the lawyers describes hypocrites, hypocrites, now there is one notable exception. One notable exception. It's in Mark chapter 12 so let's just take a quick look there and then we'll get on with Mark chapter 12 wanted to turn your because of the similarity of this setting that were looking at in the good Samaritan, Mark 12 verse 28 says, then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that he had answered them well ask him ask Jesus which is the first commandment of all Jesus answered him, the first of all, the first of all the commandments is that is here oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second like it is this you shall love the night. Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. So the scribe said to him, well said teacher you have spoken the truth, for there is one God and there is no other but he and the love him with all the heart, with all understanding with all the soul, with all the strength and the love one's neighbor as oneself is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him you are not far, the kingdom of God. But after that.

No one dared question so the reason I'm wanting to show you this encounter is. It's not wrong to ask questions of Jesus. The issue is, what is the motive behind you asking the question and the lawyer in Luke chapter 10 in the good Samaritan. He's asking questions and were told to test Jesus.

He's not interested in searching for truth is I want to know, but here's a man who's asking similar questions and he's he's on, he's pursuing he is seeking truth and Jesus said you are not far from the kingdom of God.

I wonder if that might be true of someone here this morning that God is been working in your heart and been stirring you and you been troubled and you been wondering and you been asking questions and you been asking people and even coming. You been reading your Bible and could it be that that would be what Jesus would say about you.

You are not far from the kingdom. You are not far, so keep asking your questions. Keep a humble attitude keep coming under the preaching of the word. Because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God so back to Luke chapter 10 is easy to get lost in this interchange between Jesus and this lawyer, the scribe speaks three times before the parable two of the question to the three questions he asks are here in verse 25 notice with me, behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him saying teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life.

That's question number one Jesus said to him, what is what is written in the law, what is your reading of it. So Jesus's answer to his question is two more questions directed.

What I want you to see and hear.

Here's where I think people get lost.

Verse 27 says so he answered and said this is the man's answer to Jesus's question what is written in the law. What is your reading of it you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself. And he said to him you have answered rightly do this and you will live.

Notice his next question. Verse 29. Notice the motive of his asking the question, what was his motive and asking the first question to test Jesus. What's his motive in asking this question in verse 29 but he wanting to justify himself, said in Jesus and who is my neighbor who is my neighbor the main thing I want you to see is that this parable that Jesus teaches and gives is not a detour. It is very much tied to the first question, what is the first question, what shall I do to inherit eternal life. Jesus did not get sidetracked on a social issue on care of the poor and care and concern for one's neighbor. All of that is good is Jesus's answer to his first question, I think that's where a lot of people misunderstand this parable. This is not as Jesus, what, what is the what is the bottom line to the parable of the bottom line of the parable is in verse 37 Jesus tells the parable and then he asks this lawyer. The question he said, he says, verse 36.

So which of these do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves. The question is not who is your neighbor. Most people think of this parable addressing the question, who is my neighbor but my obligated to, that's not what Jesus is asked answering the question is not who is my neighbor. The question is neighbor of these men big difference right and again the parable is getting back to this first question, what is the first question, what shall I do to inherit eternal life.

So again, so you don't miss this because if you miss this you can be lost.

Question is not who is your neighbor. The question is who was a neighbor get that locked in your head who was a neighbor now this is Leon Morris's commentary. I want to confuse you but I want you to see why we have been accustomed to thinking.

I think wrongly about this parable. Listen to what Leon Moore says in his commentary as we approach the parable, we must bear in mind that it is told to the lawyer. In answer to the question, who is my neighbor, not what must I do to be safe so I'm disagreeing with Leon Morris and I hope you'll follow my reasoning and say you know what I think you're right. There's another interesting statement. Have you have you had this experience is your studying and you can solve a commentary because you got to this sticky point and you're trying to figure out what's the meaning here so you think want to go to my favorite commentator and you go to any open it up and he just blows past the just goes past that he doesn't even deal with it and you're likely to minute you're supposed to be the expert happens a lot now. Leon Morris makes the statement, Jesus did not answer the question directly, but he told the story the traveler in the story is clearly a Jew, the man lying in the road who's been assaulted by robbers.

Leon Moore says the traveler in the story is clearly a Jew, I and you read, listen to what Matthew doesn't give us this parable. Mark doesn't give us this parable. John doesn't give us this parable.

The only place you can find this parable as in Luke chapter 10 I challenge you to read Luke chapter 10 and find a description of the man lying in the road that he's a Jew, so if were going to insist that he's a Jew were going to have to come to that conclusion by deduction right. The man is a Jew. I'm convinced that but I don't have the time to get into the deduction and reasoning of what I've come to that conclusion, but yet the only thing that makes any sense, but it bothers me when someone said the traveler in the story is clearly a Jew, I've got a few pages appear for notes on just preaching the sermon. Leon Morris has a commentary that you think it okay and not commentary you want to be able to your to be addressing the question on what basis are you saying it's clearly this man's Job so you be real careful was your reading, commentators, and they make statements, you know, it's all right to say what wait a minute. How did you get that you can pick up the phone calling but we need to be Marines right to examine the Scriptures daily to see what the apostle Paul was teaching whether it was right.

So if it was the Bible validates questioning even the apostle Paul.

It validates us questioning our favorite commentator. But oh wait a minute here now. How did you get that be wrong. I want to proceed this morning by answering the question what did Jesus want this lawyer to see what did Jesus want this lawyer, Stan, we can answer those two questions. I think it also will answer the question, what does God want us to see and understand from this parable and are five things that I want to speak to you about five things that I want you to see five things that I want you to understand number one.

Jesus wanted him and he wants us to see the inadequacy of the law to save. Notice how Jesus turned the law expert back to the law in response to his question. This is a man who is an expert in Old Testament law.

That's his life. That's his vocation. That's what he does. 24 seven, a certain lawyer stood up testing him, saying, teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life. He said to him what is written in the what what is written in the law, what is your reading of it. The question is why. Why did Jesus turn the lawyer back to the law. In answer to his question. What shall I do to inherit eternal life. Not because the law saves or has the power to say, but because the Lord shows us that we need to be say. That's why turning back to the law. Anybody who reads their Bible anybody was an understanding of the 10 Commandments and comes away saying you know what I've done pretty good job with that. I I think God will commit me totally messed if totally messed it, the lies, a standard that God sets any sentence so I that it's clear that anybody was on is that there's no way I could meet that standard was our schoolmaster to do what the bring us to Christ.

That's the point.

This man believes that his own moral efforts can earn him favor with God. That's what he thinks and in reality the man is bankrupt. The man is morally bankrupt.

He has nothing to commend himself to God and until he sees that there's no hope for him.

By the way, that's one of the reasons I'm convinced that the man laying in the middle of the road bloodied beat naked half dead as Jesus once that man is he not going to identify think about this the man's between the rock and hard place. He's not going to identify with the two religious people walk by to say what was me right is not. There is no identify with those two guys is he going identify with the Samaritan Samaritan is a hormone like that Samaritan. So who is he going to identify with boost. Does Jesus want them to identify with Jesus want to go identify with the man laying in the road, bloodied beat you half naked, unable to help himself. That's the point.

Okay, Jesus is trying to show this law expert his own helpless condition, and again, let me just repeat it by depicting him as the half dead man lying in the road, but you buddy, that's you you think your law keeping grant you favor with God, no, no you you are you are naked and half dead.

That's reality of what you this morning you see yourself as wretched like that word wretched, amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, you have a hard time identifying yourself as a wretch than Stan grace you understand God and understand the way of salvation that we see ourselves in that condition. A wretch wretched yes. Secondly, I believe Jesus wanted him to see and understand and he wants us to do as well wants us to see and understand the need honest evaluation, honest evaluation, and it's clear that the law was having its effect upon this man that the pressures of Jesus's argument was being felt by this self-righteous lawyer why what I say that will because it says verse 29.

This is again in answer to this back-and-forth about the law and loving the Lord your God with all your heart mind soul and strength coming out.

Think about that.

Most of us here been saved by the grace of God, the love of God's been shed abroad in our hearts. God is put a love in our hearts for him that was not there but let me just ask you do you love God all your heart, all your mind all your soul all your strength. Do you train up. You think you do. I write that's good because even his redeemed sinners, we don't love God, to that degree. We want to we desire to listen to me.

There is all the glory and says not see nothing to keep us from loving him to that degree and causes the long for heaven, so I'm honest evaluation causes us to be humble and bow our head and so I'm such a workable failure at this a better Christian for 35 years in the love you with all my heart mind soul and strength. No, I might not even be out of the batter's box, I might be at first base, but there's no way in the love my neighbor as myself. It's easy to give lip service to loving God, whom you cannot see what about the people that we can see the get attitudes do things that make it difficult to love you, honest evaluation, the man began to justify himself.

That's all we know, the law was having its effect upon the began to justify himself, and he said to Jesus, and who is my neighbor not just a distraction. I am wanted when it says he tried to justice bop bop justify himself by asking that question. He felt pretty confident because in his mind, a neighbor was a fellow Jew I'm bound by the law. Hello fellow Jew, not bound to love the Samaritan fellow Jewish so he's feeling pretty comfortable and confident in justifying his mind that these keeping the law is asking this question, who is my neighbor so dodged this first question and asked Jesus to define the second commandment in such a way as to make its requirement reachable what did Jesus do Jesus told a parable that further confronts this lawyers self-righteousness. This lawyer was confident that he could fulfill the law if the demands of the law were reduced to his fellow Jew is what he thought other people in your life. You see, you know what I think I can got an affinity with them. I I have a likeness to think I got no problem, love, and that person be careful with taking your definition and your understanding of the law.

When the commandments of God and reducing them to what you believe the manager know you don't have the prerogative Bible says if we offend the law break the law. At one point were guilty of violating the whole thing was really fair of me not been in school. I I've got a friend I was school with the guy. The guy didn't have many friends because he always ruined the curve in the class K. The professor couldn't say we know what maybe maybe that maybe the questions weren't as clear as they should have been mean everybody was below 185 so I'm in a grade on a curve guy, regardless would get a 98 so the professor drew the conclusion when anything wrong with question the problems with your and although Mike felt really really good about his 98 and God's classroom that 98 is half it's in half God standard is 100% perfection. It's right because that's the only way you'll come to receive the righteousness that God provides for you and his son was the only one perfect was the only one who didn't perform 100%. This delusion that somehow my 95% are my 80% going to be acceptable to God is all on that day it will produce weeping and gnashing of this lawyer was confident that he could fulfill the law if the demands were reduced to his fellow Jew, Jesus shows a lawyer shows us in the in different increase in the in different Levite, the many false limits that religious people put on the command to love your neighbor, the priest and the Levite, the Levite is the longer that's what he wants. He was an these people were masters of the law. They knew the law they that was their life. I'm not going to get into why they walked past this man lying in the street to bring the second message on this so don't don't think we'll never really got this or that, the priest and the Levite they had all the biblical knowledge that all the ethical principle and had all the ethnic affinity with the man in the road know what, despite all of that. It wasn't enough because external religion won't move your heart with compassion. The only thing that will move your heart. Have compassion on someone is a heart that's been changed by the gospel.

That's what Jesus is trying to show this man. So we see the need for honest evaluation and until until this man until you despair of your auditor inability to meet God's standard of righteousness. You'll never abandon yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only righteousness that's acceptable our confidence this morning is an a in an alien righteousness alien in that it's not innate in us is nothing we have within us. It's an alien righteousness. It's our righteousness that God provides in his righteous son and apart from faith and that righteousness we have no acceptance. Despite how so many people are deluded and thinking they are the fact that a priest and a Levite passed by not only shows what human nature is capable of. It also shows that being a religious leader is no guarantee that your heart will be right the help that the Samaritan think about this story. This is a course. It's a masterful story because Jesus is the one telling right but it's it's amazing this story. It's a Samaritan that stops to help hello you you member back in John chapter 4 when Jesus is at this at the well of sidecar and this woman says why are you talking to me. Jews have no means was Samaritan's. She was a Samaritan that was a common understanding.

Here's a Jew in his own blood, half naked, being half dead in a Samaritan what his experience and his teaching inclined him to do what past the man walk on the other side. No man right walk on the man because of how the Jews entreated the Samaritans is at his heart. No, his heart's been changing of the heart of compassion and he is the only one who stops to help the man so that help that he gave sprang from a love in his heart was compassionate moved him it wasn't self-righteousness or self-righteousness. Neither honest evaluation of time here brought two sermons to the Pope's we need understand number three. We are in no place to be demanding God to answer our questions. That's what Job wanted Job, God, God's bragging about Job is none like him. Men fear God shunned evil, but in Job 23 we have this. This is Job. If only I knew where to find him, if only I could go to his dwelling. I would state my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments I would find out what he would answer me and consider what he would say CS Lewis's written essay wrote an essay called God in the dock. The dock is the box in the English courtroom where an accused criminal six and that is where the modern skeptic wants to listen to what CS Lewis says the ancient man approach God is the accused person approaches his judge for the modern man. The roles are reversed.

He's the judge. God is in the dock. He's quite a kindly judge of God should have a reasonable defense for being the God permits war, poverty and disease.

He's ready to listen to it.

The trauma even and in God's acquittal, but the important thing is that the man is on the bench and God is in the dock. Thus man claims the right to interrogate God and sit in the judgment of well eventually. Job did get is a in court didn't and didn't turn out quite the way expected for one thing the meeting didn't take place in the courtroom. God appeared to him in a whirlwind was asking the questions got asked questions to confound Joe to cause Job to Marvel to cause Job to become bold you go back and read the end of the book of Job, there are 64 questions there 64 questions designed to stagger the mind and amaze the intellect God reminding Job of the wisdom of his creation. Even Job's own wisdom, such as it was came from God for 36 of chapter 38, God says who endowed the heart with wisdom gave understanding to the mind. If only God is so wise then what right does Job have judgment.

God says this will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him, let him accuse God let him who accuses God answer him, would you discredit my justice would you condemn me to justify yourself laughter. This interrogation.

Job knew there was nothing he could say there was nothing he was left speechless and what does he do he puts his hand over his mouth and says I am unworthy. How can I reply to you. I spoke once but I have no answer twice, but I will say no, Eugene Peterson, who wrote a book a long obedience in the same direction and characterization of the Christian life.

A long obedience in the same direction, says this about that encounter as we think that God is an object about which we have questions. Were curious about God we making is about God. We read books about God we get into late-night discussions about God would drop and church from time to time to see what's going on with God, we indulge in an occasional sunset or symphony to cultivate a feeling of reverence for God, but that's not the reality of our lives with God long before we ever got around to asking questions about God and God is been questioning us and then this is the conclusion if anyone is going to ask the questions, don't you think it ought to be. God knows all hands.

God knows all the answers. So let's be very very careful and humble in our approach to God. I want you to see in the fourth place the utter blindness of the human heart. The utter blindness of the human heart. Here is a man think about the irony of this here is a man privileged, like few men of ever been privileged. What I say's privilege will listen. He's having an earthly conversation with the Savior of the world and is having a conversation about the most important subject that could ever be considered by the human mind. What is that what shall I do to inherit eternal life.

He's asking questions of the one who is the way the truth and the life how to be right with God.

I have one sins forgiven.

But this man is not humble. He's not contrite he's not open is not honest in his in his questioning.

He's testing Jesus he's engaged in self-justifying deception such as the blindness of the human condition. Bible says the carnal mind is indemnity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, nor can it be that's the condition of men outside of Christ, the natural man not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can he be subject to love God. That's the condition he's in total inability you have any question about how that could be think about this man think about his blindness. Think about is deception.

He's more concerned about convincing Jesus that he's all right, when in fact he's doing for the last thing I want to see this morning is the power of the gospel to save the power of the gospel to save Jesus told the story in such a way that there is only one and only one answer to the question. So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves. At least this lawyer is honest and he has enough sense to not dodge the question is going to answer the question but you notice how he answers the question, is the man who stopped to help the man lying in his blood half dead beat and robbed. Is he an unnamed person, Jesus identified him what is the Samaritan. So when Jesus asks the question which of these three do you think was neighbor to handle fell among the thieves. What you say this and he said while the Samaritan he couldn't even bring himself to speak commands rationality, but he was forced to identify and answer was obvious. He who showed mercy on him.

He who showed mercy on him, no one could miss it.

Not even this prejudice lawyer.

How do we explain how do we explain the Samaritan stopping and helping the Jew the only way you can explain it is here is a man whose life and heart is been changed by the gospel because left to ourselves. We are committed to self-interest were selfish were not interested in helping any nothing less than a life transformed by the power of the gospel is how you explain this again the question is why did Jesus put a fellow Jew in the road. Remember Revelation chapter 3 the church of Laodicea. Jesus is walking among the candlesticks and he says of this church. I know your works, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were either hot or cold, but because you are lukewarm. I'm going to spew you out of my mouth because this is why Jesus feels this way toward this professing church because you say I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are what wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. That's why Jesus put a fellow Jew in the middle-of-the-road story because Jesus wanted this lawyer to see that's him that's him and that's all of us were destitute were bankrupt. Santa has devastated us. We have nothing to commend ourselves to God until we see that only God can help us see that there's no hope for us about this morning.

What shall I do to inherit eternal life or something you can do to inherit eternal life is at the point of this that it's works no all of us lie helpless and bankrupt dying in the road, Jesus Christ, who is our natural enemy who owes us nothing. Nevertheless, he didn't just stop along the way he left the glories of heaven, and came on a rescue mission. Let that sink in.

He didn't just happen to walk by and see us in a bad way because he has a heart of compassion can bring himself to walk past us know he left heaven to come for people like us.

I know this is in a pretty picture but imagine in your mind a homeless person whose obviously unkempt on babies. Who knows where he's been always been with an therein lies in our you know stop picking him up and put them in your car and take them home and feed them and put them in a bed. Are you going to do that. Let picture that I just painted is mild compared to how God sees us morally, that the God of heaven would come in his purity in his perfection and stoop to the depths that he stooped to redeem us to save us to rescue us is astounding. That's the gospel is good news as an let's rejoice afresh this morning and this gospel. That's the whole point of this parable and again Lord willing. Next Sunday will revisit this draw some other things out of it because the lot there's a lot in this parable about race relations and that seems to be everywhere we go right so I think this has truth here to help us. Let's bow and pray. Father, we thank you this morning for your word may yet find lodgment in our hearts may bear fruit me it bring Holy Ghost conviction were that's needed and may thrill our hearts if we find ourselves to be that one who was laying in our nakedness and have been picked up and rescued and clothed in the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ and seated at the table and a banquet spread force in all of our needs being met.

Oh God, what a gospel has been entrusted to us.

How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation here is for Jesus sake man

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