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The Good Samaritan

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 26, 2020 8:00 am

The Good Samaritan

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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October 26, 2020 8:00 am

Its one of those tales that everyone knows. The boy who cried wolf. The emperors new clothes. The good Samaritan. As soon as you hear the story, you know what it means. But not so fast. Is the story of the good Samaritan really as obvious as the other two?

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It's one of those tables that everyone knows the boy who cried Wolf. The Emperor's new clothes, the good Samaritan as soon as you hear the story you know what it means, but not so fast is the story of the good Samaritan really is obvious as the other two are welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly. It's hard to talk about an easy parable or what seems to be an easy parable story we know as the good Samaritan actually starts before the Samaritan himself enters the story really starts when a Jewish legal scholar confronts Jesus to test him and asked him a question about inheriting eternal life. They go back and forth a couple of times about the law and love and eternal life, and then the scholar challenges Jesus again with the question who exactly is this neighbor I'm supposed to love where does my neighborhood and and how can I be sure I've done my duty and helped all the people I'm obligated to help AMVETS when Jesus tells the story of the mugging and of the upstanding citizens who go out of their way not to help her get involved and of the lowlife Samaritan who goes way out of his way to do the right thing. But Jesus ends the story with a twist that makes it clear he's answering a different question than the scholar had asked let's listen now to Dr. Boyce whenever I come to this parable of the good Samaritan. I think that I would like to paraphrase our Lord sighing when he said the first shall be last in the last personally, I'd like to say the easy shall be hard in the heart easy because I think that in one sense this is the easiest of all parables straightforward. It's clear's the story of a man who was beset by robbers beaten left beside the road to die men came along and had no concern for him and then a Samaritan who came and did an all of the story is aware to do likewise. On one level, nothing could be simpler than that.

Yet when we try to teach it or expounded. I always find it to be very difficult. For one thing is really true stories merely the story of the good Samaritan, as we refer to it, but there's the story of this lawyer that leads into the story of the good Samaritan otherwise has a context and to complicate matters to stories on the surface, seem to go together. The first has to do with salvation.

Second, as to do with God pleasing conduct kind of thing that we would say at least flows from salvation. When you look at them more carefully begins by the record of this lawyer expert in the law of Israel, which means, of course, and experts in the Old Testament that is a theologian and a liar wrapped in the one who came to Jesus with this question teacher. He said what must I do to inherit eternal life.

He probably wasn't asking that question of Jesus with the best of motives because were told in the passage that he ask him the question to test him. The interesting thing however is that whether his motor was good or bad.

He did ask not only an important question. The most important question that anyone can ask, how can I inherit eternal life or how can I be saved.

I think we probably ought to talk about that a little bit because we live in an age when everybody's asking every other kind of question yet for some reason this most important of all questions overlooked will say what I have to do to succeed in my business or what I have to do to get people to like me or what should I do to be more fulfilled. Yet we seem strangely reluctance as individual men and women ask this question, which is the most important of all, what must I do to inherit eternal life.

Why is it important.

It's important because we are not creatures merely of this life. We are creatures we sense that the Bible teaches its men to endure for an eternity and we face death and we ask what do I have to do to overcome that and fulfill the destiny that I sense and that God says he has for me really don't ask it of course is that if we ask a question about salvation. We have to acknowledge that we need to be saying that's the problem and what we have to be saved from his sin.

Since we don't want to admit were sinners.

We don't want to acknowledge the need of salvation. We don't ask the question because we need all of the we need to ask a question we need to know that we need salvation we need to recognize our sin. Some years ago.

Not very long ago now Bishop Fulton Sheen was speaking in Washington for the national prayer breakfast his remarks on medication were reprinted which is how I know about them and he talked about the subject of sin. Jimmy Carter was president of the time and he was present for the prayer breakfast and Bishop Sheen began by saying Mr. Pres. Mrs. Carter and fellow sinners. I was intended to grab everybody's attention and it did. And on that basis. He then went on to speak about national and personal sin and his point was that a national prayer breakfast should be on the occasion on which we together ask God's forgiveness for our sin and he said well why do we do that always said we have all sorts of ways of getting around that we explain away the said we Americans are not much given to the thought of sin.

We may make a mistake as one public official admitted or else we excuse our so-called antisocial behavior because say we were fed grade B milk his children works because we had insufficient playgrounds or because we were loved to watch by our mother or not enough by our father pointed out that even call managers written the book entitled whatever became of sin and any hazardous analysis, the clergy dropped sin less they offend their congregation jurists, then picked it up and turned sin in the crime. And finally, the psychiatrist converted it into a complex and the result is that no one anymore is a sinner when he had this funny comment. He said it used to be that we Catholics were the only ones in the world who believed in the immaculate conception of Mary, but today it seems everyone in America is immaculately conceived. I thought, that's not bad. He is a real insight. There in the our character because if we admitted that we were sinners and we would acknowledge that we needed salvation and we will ask the greatest of all questions. What a sty who to be saved but we don't do it because we don't want to acknowledge these things and this is what happened in Christ time and this is what the lawyer had in mind. Jesus replied when he said, what must I do to inherit eternal life by saying well you're the expert in the law what does law say in the land of this occasion responded correctly is Christ himself.on other occasions, you know, ask about one occasion. What is the greatest commandment in Christ quoted from Deuteronomy 65 about loving the Lord your God with all your heart is in the second one is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. This is precisely what this expert in the loss that Jan, 27 he answered love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself in our Lord said to him, you've answered correctly go to its and you will live in other words, you go to that and you will inherit eternal life.

That is the answer to your question. What should happen to that point was longer if he had understood his own heart as well as he understood the law and he was apparently right at this point.

Should said, but good teacher. This is not something I can do I know what the law says and I am trying to do it as I'm trying to do it. I've been perfectly aware as any other honest man or woman would also be aware that this man of God's law is impossible for me. It says love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

At times I don't even love God with all my heart mind soul or strength and it says love the Lord your God with all of these things I don't do it. I can't do it, and neither can anybody else. So what do we do now you see if he asks that question, the Lord gone to teach them about the essence of the gospel, so we can't do that and that's why God the father sent Jesus Christ to die and pay the penalty of our sin and loss to himself and fill us with the Holy Spirit so that by the grace of God and the power of God in the life of the believer. These things now begin to happen. What do that. He was testing Jesus and so in order were told to justify himself. He passed over the greater of the commandments that is the love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul lawyer mine with all your strength, and he came to the second of those commandments.

Love your neighbor as yourself, and he raised a quibble about the second commandment in the quibble is this he said well you know I'm a lawyer and part of our profession is to examine the meaning of words very carefully and since you approach the matter in this way, I just have this particular little question I would like to ask you, and the question is this who is my neighbor. How do you define that important term. It wasn't going to say really to find out who his neighbor was he was doing it to cover all the facts the Christ answer to his question.

It convicted him of sin as our Lord began to tell this story of the good Samaritan on the one hand you say to answer the question.

Who is your neighbor, but to carry out what it is. He was trying to do all along, namely to point out this lawyer that he was not fulfilling the demands of God's law. So he began to tell the story that was Amanda went down to Jericho at long road that went down through difficult and desolate country from Jerusalem and the highlands of Judah Jericho down on the edge of the Jordan River in the Valley and otherwise, he passed through this dangerous country. He fell in the hands of robbers who beat him up and took all he had left by the side of the road have dead. As he lay there certain to die.

Of course, because it's a hot country. The sun was beating down the man's strength would be gone in a short period of time as he lay there dying of priests came down that way.

Now everyone would think that a priest of all people to take concern for a man in this condition, but he didn't. She saw a man. Our Lord said he passed by the other side after he was gonna leave.

I came by. That is another priest member of the priestly tribe of Levi. He likewise saw the man and passed by the other side, and there he lay looks for time as if nobody would help them with under came this third individual who Christ points out, was a Samaritan that is of another nation were to presume that the man who had been beaten up and left beside the road was a Jew here came this Samaritan and the Samaritan instead of passing by stopped and went over to women took care of his wounds. He poured oil and wine into the wounds to cleanse them and he bandaged them up and put them upon his own animal. It took him to an inn cared for in the air and then the next day as he interrupted his travel. The next day when he was about to the party took two silver coins out of his pocket and he gave them to the innkeeper and said here you take these. This is Lori's upkeep and I'm going on down in my business and when I come back if I owe you any more out pay. On my return trip than having told the story. Our Lord returns the experts in the law and asking the question which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man fell into the hands of robbers. The expert in the law replied one who had mercy on them and Jesus said, go and do likewise understand what is done. There was this lawyer raising a quibble in order to get off the hook, as it were.

He was told by Jesus, and if he wanted to inherit eternal life. Please God. He was the love God with all his heart always solve all his might always straighten his neighbor as himself, and he said, who is my neighbor what he was doing and that was making this word neighbor in would object something out there. He was Sinai wanted to find that and find it in a satisfactory way. Then perhaps I can do it and if I can't. Well, we just have to wait and some greater teacher comes along the meantime I don't have much of an obligation. What Jesus did was not, strictly speaking, answer his question.

Jesus did not treat the neighbor as an object. He did not answer the question, who is my neighbor, strictly speaking, what Jesus did was turn matter of the neighbor from being an object into a subject he made it the subject of this question, he said, look, the real question is this who is the one who acts neighborly say we would put it in a language which I think we might understand better. It is not as if Jesus is answering the question. Whom shall I love, but rather, Jesus is asking the question, do you love because you see, if you love if you act as a neighbor, then you're not going to have any difficulty in the end of finding who the neighbor is out to see this in the case of the Samaritan because, of course, this is exactly the point here was Amanda simply cared for. The other man and so acted in a Proper Way, Paul and he writes about love in first Corinthians 13 says love is not self-seeking that Islam doesn't put his own interests first meeting of all the things that could've hindered this Samaritan from showing love to the unfortunate traveler was. For example, what we might perhaps have to call a legalistic application of the law. I mentioned that because that's precisely the thing that hindered the lawyer and in the story hindered the priest and the Levite presumably. I think if these men had read in the Scripture somewhere whenever you see a poor Jew beat not blindly side of the road. All of this goods taken from him about to die, your duty toward him is to rescue him bandaged up his wounds, put them on your animal taken to an end and see that is taken care of. I think if there was a Scripture like that in the Old Testament the priest Levi perhaps lawyer himself would've done it grudgingly. Perhaps what I think I would've done it right and got himself define who I neighbor was why didn't say well if there's a landline beside the road. You have to take care of them because if the law had said, if you find a man beat not lying beside the road. What would you do if you found a woman beaten up lying beside the road to see doesn't cover that particular situation or suppose it was in line beside the road. Suppose it was like in the middle-of-the-road suppose he was in the villages. The draw sorts of fine lines to excuse yourself from the obligation.

The Bible doesn't spell the things out in that kind of detail. That's why the Bible instead gives principles.

That's what our Lord to say here is a great principle. Our responsibility is to be a neighbor neighborly the spirit of Christ is within our heart doing that then we don't need that kind of a definition because the one to whom we should act neighborly is anyone we find who happens to be a need brings us to the second thing that might have hindered the Samaritan that is national or ethnic or religious prejudice.

He would had cause for the course because the Samaritans were not well treated by the Jews.

The Jewish point of view is good reason for that. Way back at the time of the fall of Samaria and 721 BC most of the Jews lived in the area at the time members of the northern kingdom of Israel were carried off the battle and to be slaves.

Now, it wasn't possible always to carry off the whole population, someone high.

Some would bribe their captors so on.

So the result was that some Jews remain. Then those would conquer them since people from their own land to live in Samaria and repopulated as a result you had mixed racial stock in the area which resulted in intermarriage and as a result, the Jews of the South to remain pure, ethnically began to despise. Now there mixed racial brothers and sisters of the North. Furthermore, something else happened along the way.

The Jews in the South were carried off as well when they came back to Timor-Leste had maintained their ethical purity and one thing they did was rebuild the temple under the Nehemiah and Ezra, and the Samaritans offered to help them in rebuilding it at the time they turned down they scorned these half breeds from the north and as a result, the Samaritans got angry, they built their own temple on Mount Garrison now in the eyes of the Jewish brothers in the South. Not only were they impure, racially, they were even impure in their religious beliefs out at arrival temple and they really had cause to despise them so it was a Samaritan who undoubtedly had been badly treated again and again and again by his Jewish brothers had to see if there was anybody who could have said that man lying there beside the road as a Jew. I'm not going to take care of him.

It was that Samaritan. But unlike the poor man's Jewish countrymen police and the Levite.

This man said prejudice but withstanding insults notwithstanding scorn notwithstanding hurts notwithstanding. I'm in a go and help that poor man because he needs it. Probably nothing in the whole Bible that speaks more directly to the sins of our own time and that parable that tells us that we have no excuse as God's people for failing to cross what ever boundaries. There may be, whether that's cultural or ethical or Rachel or whatever it may be one last thing, not only did this Samaritan not allow himself to be hindered by any legalistic application of the law or by racial, cultural, religious, or any other prejudice.

He didn't allow himself to be hindered by personal inconvenience, either. We know that he went out of his way because he lost time on his journey at least today maybe two.

We know that he went out of his way financially because were told explicitly gave money to the innkeeper so here we have a man who was willing for the sake of his concern for a needy man to lay both his time and his money on the line I think is interesting that he did both. Because you know is Matrox that we tend to do one of the other as we train one off against the other Samaritan didn't do that. He didn't allow his personal conveniences personal prosperity to stand in the way of helping the man who needed help so we lay both on the line, and so became a great illustration of Christ's parable what it means to be neighborly other people see that lawyer came at the beginning with this question about eternal life. The answer that Christ gave was what says law" of the law. The conclusion was this, do, and you shall live. We understand that you say we recognize that we don't do it. We don't even act like the Samaritan we don't even act like the Samaritan when Jesus tells us that's how Hudak and so, what's the solution.

On the one hand you have the law. The law says this new and you shall live. And if you don't do it you shall die.

So, let's sit with it shall die.

But on the other hand, standing over against the law. There is the gospel.

The gospel is the gospel of God's grace that is the gospel of God's gift God says in the gospel I give to you that which you cannot do what I give you his new life and as a result of that, possessing the new life of Christ within you begin to do the things that the law required to see the contrast this to and you shall live. But if you don't you will die. Jesus as and as a result of that go and do likewise.

We examine our hearts, we need to ask is that spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ within we find ourselves acting as Jesus Christ in the midst of a needy world or do we pass by like the priest and the Levite we are operating on the basis of the law. The law condemns. We do not know anything of the love and life of Jesus Christ we have we come to that point where we've acknowledged our need. We've acknowledged we stand condemned before the law and in the sight of God under his wrath and we come to Christ for the life which he gives us salvation which is to be found there by grace receiving that by the grace of God. Now, by the power of God also begin to go out and serve other people in Christ is our calling. If we are Christians.

That's what Jesus tells us to do. He says and I quote the Lord God allow and do likewise. The spray our father, we confess we can hardly do.

Otherwise, we confess that we do not do as we should, we come to you for the power and the love which we do not have in ourselves OR father branch because you have touched us and drawn us to Christ, and of so united us to him that his spirit flows through us that we might become increasingly like him in the world and really make a difference.

So the men and women in what Dawson say those man those women are not like everybody else. There is something different there. They're not trying to get off the hook. But there really serving for the sake of their love for Jesus and for me. Our father grabbed we might be like that so bring praise to Jesus Christ, amen.

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