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Needed: A Few Good Neighbors, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 15, 2021 7:05 am

Needed: A Few Good Neighbors, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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What draws people to a particular church?

What's the attraction for someone to step into an unfamiliar building and take a risk with people they don't even know when perhaps they've never done so before? Well today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll answers those questions by looking at the model Jesus gave us. It's embedded in a story he told and the answer might surprise you. During the next half hour we'll continue a message that started on yesterday's program. We're looking at Luke chapter 10 and Chuck titled his message, Needed a Few Good Neighbors. Join with me for a few, very few moments of prayer. Will you do that please? Thank you for those who traveled to this very area we've looked at today in these few scenes on video. Thank you for their presence even as we meet today.

We pray you'd watch over and protect and use them effectively, Father. Thank you for touching our lives so that we're able to lift our thoughts and priorities beyond our own lists and agenda and see people whose language we don't know in a world of culture we've never been acquainted with in the midst of a region we've never been. Thank you for touching our life at one day some time past when you captured us and you have begun to transform us. We give today our Father out of great joy we have been provided for so bountifully by you and that goes on one day at a time and in our lives one situation at a time. Thank you for meeting our needs. Because you have done that we find great delight in returning to you a portion of these gifts. Be honored in the giving the motive behind it and as we meet for this time of instruction your presence is among us may we be stimulated and encouraged in area of our lives some specific area you would point out to us.

We pray all of this and we give now in the lovely name of Christ our Savior and all of his people said amen. You're listening to Insight for Living. Don't miss out on a special interview with Chuck Swindoll.

You can easily find this 30-minute conversation by going to insight.org slash conversation. And now the message from Chuck titled needed a few good neighbors. Jesus gave his best words and did his best work among people on the street. The crowd has gathered and they've heard him speak and they watched him do his work and there's a skeptic in the crowd. According to verse 25 he's called simply a certain lawyer. A teacher says this lawyer, what must I do to inherit eternal life?

Before you think about the question please notice the motive. He stood up and put him to the test. Jesus in good pedagogical fashion doesn't jump in and answer the question.

He answers it with another question. You tell me what is written in the law? But how does it read to you? This attorney I'm sure without needing to pull anything from the pouch simply spouted out a verse out of Deuteronomy 6 and a piece out of Leviticus 19. Familiar to us, 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. That's what one must do as I read the law. Now Jesus said to him, no you're right.

Now keep on doing this and you will live. Verse 29 kicks off with again the motive, wishing to justify himself, trying to make himself look better than he really was. He picked out a word.

Lawyers are known to do that aren't they? Who is my neighbor? Is it the person who lives right next door to me?

Okay how about two doors down or into the block? Or is he a neighbor if we've never met? What if he's in another part of the town where I live? Is that is that a neighbor?

I mean I don't know who a neighbor is. There is an eloquent pause that we can't read about but at that moment the wheels begin to turn in Jesus omniscient mind and he puts together a story. Nothing like a story to communicate a point. Jesus leaves the scene where they're standing and mentally takes the lawyer and those listening to another road at another time. A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. The road is winding and there are lots of rocks and boulders and many places to hide and if you're alone there's no one who will hear if you call for help.

It was that kind of road. This lawyer knew that and he says not surprisingly he fell among robbers and they stripped him and beat him and went off leaving him half dead. It's pretty obvious what happened. This man's a victim of a mugging. I'm sure by now the attorney is wondering what's this got to do with who is my neighbor?

Everything but it has a twist to it. By chance a certain priest was going down on that road but he sees him don't miss that. He just doesn't want to get involved. And then verse 32 there's a Levite and he sees him and he doesn't want to get involved but a certain Samaritan. He too has plans and like the other two he also sees the same thing they saw but there's something different.

See the last three words? He felt compassion. He got right down there with him and he bound up his wounds. You would expect a physician to write that. That's important to Dr. Luke.

Along with pouring oil and wine on the wounds. And then of all things we read that he put him on his own beast so he let him ride on the animal he was riding on and he brought him to an inn and he took care of him. He didn't just dump him off for somebody to take him to a room.

Notice the next words on the next day. So he stayed that night with him. He doesn't even know him. He's a Jew. I'm a Samaritan. The Jew would never have done that for him.

And isn't it gracious of Jesus to tell the story like this rather than the other way? In fact he doesn't just stay with him he has to leave the next day and so he says to the innkeeper 35 take care of him and whatever more you spend. When I return I will repay you.

When I return not if. I'll come back and check on him. I went quickly over the little money exchange. He took out two denarii. We don't have a medium of exchange that involves a denarius.

You wouldn't know it so allow me. A denarius was one day's wage so he left two days wage. Darrell Bock has helped us understand how long that would provide for nights at the inn. He writes in his fine work on Luke given the amount the Samaritan leaves with the innkeeper the injured man probably has about three and a half weeks to recover if he needs it since the going in rate was 1 12th of a denarius.

Two denarii would be two days wages. He doesn't even know him. Would you notice the twist? I love this about Jesus as much as anything in his style. Verse 36, looking now at the attorney who's trying to get his jaw off his chest, which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor?

Isn't that great? Not who is my neighbor? Which one proved to be a neighbor? Neighbor is not about the other person. Jesus is not concerned about what kind of person is my neighbor but what kind of person is my neighbor's neighbor. You see the core issue has nothing to do with where my neighbor lives, looks like, or language he speaks, or color, or how well we may or may not know one another. It has everything to do with what kind of neighbor am I. Put bluntly, the issue is not is my neighbor really lost but is my neighbor's neighbor really saved? That's it. And the attorney sees it.

He's failed every test before but now he gets good marks. Verse 37, when I asked which one of these proved to be a neighbor, he said the one who showed mercy toward him. And Jesus responded, you got it, now get at it. The Samaritans saw what others did not see because of the man he was. That to me is the message of the story.

What you are determines what you see and what you see determines what you do. There had to be a long moment for that attorney. He's cornered.

He needs one of those Southwest airline commercials. Want to get away? But he can't. He's caught just like we are.

We may run to another state but we can't escape what this is saying. Who are you? Depending on that will determine what you see and what you do. When the late great preacher John Henry Jowett was reaching very near the end of a very fruitful ministry, he was asked on one occasion, what would you do differently if you had it all to do over again?

He summed it all up in five simple words, I would major on compassion. If I had madruthers regarding the Stonebriar Community Church people, I would love it if we were known as people of compassion. I would love that. You know those people over there in that little square building, that funny looking place over there, doesn't have any signs? You know what?

They know how to love a guy like that fella that wrapped his arms around me and reeked of alcohol several Sundays ago. I hugged him. He told me he didn't have a job.

He was kind of run over in his heels. I said, I want you to know something. We love having you here. He said, I don't have a job.

I said, we love having you here. So Christmas Eve night, he came back. He gave me half a bag of candy. I mean, he's hungry, so I got half a bag. But what's that in honor? Gave me something important to him. He said, hey preacher, I'm back. I said, you know what? We need guys like you around us. We respect you for being here. Man, I know you'd have done the same thing.

That's what makes a church great. I couldn't sleep a number of nights ago and I got up and stood at the bedroom window and looked out. It was one of those clear nights where the stars were shimmering like diamond studded nail heads in the sky. It was clear.

I mean, I lived in California so long I got scared of air I couldn't see. And I remember looking up and thinking some glorious day he's going to split the sky. He's going to come back for his own. And in fact, someday yet future, he's going to return to the earth and establish his kingdom.

And he will reign as king of kings and lord of lords. I thought all of this that night. I couldn't sleep. And I remembered the line out of Matthew 25 that he will separate sheep from goats, those who are his own from those who are not. And the sheep amazed at the joy of entering into his place of delight and presence and visible forgiveness, all asked how could it be? He says, when I was hungry you gave me something to eat and when I was thirsty you gave me something to drink and when I was in prison you visited me. Lord, when were you hungry and we gave you something to eat? When were you thirsty and we gave you something to drink?

When were you in prison and we visited you? Matthew records it so simply where Jesus says, in as much as you've done it to the least of these my brothers you've done it unto me. Oh, don't go too quickly. There's a syntactical technical insight I've got to pass along to you at the risk of really wiping out this great conclusion, so bear with me. It's called the restrictive attributive.

In that syntactical construction of the sentence, the emphasis falls on the adjective and requires the repeating of the definite article. In as much as you have done it to these, even the least of these, you've done it unto me. Isn't that great? In as much as you have done it to these, the least, the hated, the unknown, the hungry, the hurting, the addicted, the prostitutes, the forgotten. Or as one mother of two children paraphrased, I said, he said, I was afflicted with cerebral palsy and you listened to my faltering speech and gently held my flailing hands. I was born of Down syndrome and you welcomed me into your church and your love reached out to me. And the people said, Lord, when did we see you with cerebral palsy and listen to you?

When were you born with Down syndrome? And he said, in that you did it even to the least of these my people, you did it to me. That is so good. We miss it a mile in our pace and flash through life, taking care of our own thank you. Christianity is not about that. It's about souls in great need. It's about the broken and the bruised and the abused and the battered and the forgotten. And it's about our spirit and, well, it's about what we see that determines what we do. One day at a time, one life at a time. I've been around that kind of Christianity so seldom, I don't know how it would act if I saw a whole church of it.

It is so rare. Trust me, this community would have no need for us to canvas them with evangelistic crusades. They couldn't stay out if they saw that kind of compassion.

They couldn't stay away. Let's bow our heads together. Bow our heads together. We don't know what happened to the lawyer. I want to believe that he believed. I want to believe that he stayed around till it darkened and the crowd left and he and Jesus talked through his salvation. I want to believe he trusted Jesus as his own personal Lord, but I don't know.

I want to believe that as a result of his trust in Christ, he became not a sophisticated professional, but a compassionate neighbor. More importantly, I want to believe that that's what we're going to become. I have so far to go and I know that some of you do, too.

If you've never met Christ, a perfect place to start is admitting your own selfishness and sinfulness and distance from God and saying to the Lord, I not only want you, I need you. I can't know what it is to have that kind of compassion without your presence. Please come.

Please invade my life. Transform my thinking. Give me eyes to see what I've overlooked all my life.

Lord, I think all of us have probably lined up to feed Joni Eareckson, Tada, out of love for her and respect. Chances are good, however, we drive past most people in need. And therein lies the heart of the issue. Help us as we work our way on this long journey through the labyrinth of all the things that attract our time and attention. Teach us in the process to let our hearts be broken. Guard us from a perfunctory spirit in ministry. May our thoughts throb for those who are lost, just lost. Give us the pleasure of charming them into righteousness, disarming them from all of their criticism of Christians because of our compassion and love. In Jesus' dear name, I pray.

Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living and the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. He's teaching from Luke chapter 10, and the parting words from Jesus were these, go and do the same.

Now please stay with us because we've set aside several minutes to hear some closing comments from Chuck. And to learn more about this ministry, please visit us online at insightworld.org. Then let me remind you about the commentary series Chuck has written on all 27 books in the New Testament, Matthew through Revelation. The final touches on this comprehensive collection are the two full-length hardbound books on the Gospel according to Matthew. And for anyone who's curious to learn more about Matthew or any other portion of the New Testament, you'll be grateful to have these commentaries from Chuck on your shelf. They're called Swindoll's Living Insights on the New Testament, and you'll find all the details for requesting a copy online at insight.org slash offer. In fact, while you're visiting the online store, be sure to check out all the great ideas for any occasion, including the wide variety of fun ideas for your kids and grandkids.

And for a more unique gift idea, you might consider our selection of whole bean coffees from around the world. Chuck, you presented a study on the entire book of Matthew that was called The King of Kings. That's right, Dave. As a radio family, we spent the last 11 months, January through November, walking through every single chapter in the Gospel according to Matthew. It was an emotion-filled journey alongside Jesus. And now I'm devoting the better part of December to applying what we felt during the grand crescendo that swelled in the last chapter. Remember the parting words from Jesus?

Of course you do. He said, therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I've given you. And be sure of this. I'm with you always, even to the end of the age. That's Matthew 28, 17 through 20.

Now wait, wait. Don't dismiss this command of Jesus as though he was singling out the professional Christian, whatever that means. His command was directed to you and to me, people that love the Lord Jesus Christ. So let me ask, how is God moving you right at this moment to live out the great commission of Jesus with your family, with your friends, and even with your neighbors? And what is your part in making disciples in all the countries of the world? As we come to the conclusion of another ministry year, this is the perfect time for you to invest in things eternal. You play a significant role in making disciples. Your contribution to Insight for Living Ministries will be used by God to reach brokenhearted, discouraged people who are burdened down by guilt and confusion and shame. In fact, I can't think of a better way to exercise our God-given assignment than to give generously.

So these dear people might hear about God's grace and then run into his forgiving embrace. Come on, let's do this together. Let's get involved in this wonderful opportunity to make disciples together. Remember, we don't have to do it alone. Jesus said, I'm with you always, even to the end of the age. So it's you and me and our Lord Jesus Christ teaming up together.

How exciting is that? Well, please jot down this contact information and respond to Chuck Swindoll today. Choose from several different methods for getting in touch. You can use the convenient mobile app or give directly online at insight.org slash donate. To speak with one of our friendly ministry reps, call us. If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888.

Again, that's 1-800-772-8888. If you prefer to give a year-end gift online today, simply visit insight.org. Join us again tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll describes what he calls the God of limitless possibilities. That's next time on Insight for Living. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-09 06:33:52 / 2023-07-09 06:42:12 / 8

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