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Leaving a Trace of Grace

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
September 23, 2022 12:00 am

Leaving a Trace of Grace

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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September 23, 2022 12:00 am

As often happened during Jesus’ teaching ministry, many Jews were looking for a loophole in the Law, while Jesus was getting to the heart of the matter. When a lawyer asked Jesus a question about how to be right with God, Jesus knew that the man wanted to hear that He was already doing the right things. But with His divine perspective, Jesus defined what it means to love God and love others. To this day, Christians are set apart from the world when we follow this teaching.

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You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.

Jewish world at this time. Believe justice most people do to this day the hard was the center of a motion and desire and the mind the center of cognition or intelligent so get this the greatest commandment in the law really wasn't all rule. It was a relationship means you love God with everything about but without really obeying Jesus focused on getting to the heart of the matter. When a lawyer asked Jesus a question about how to be right with God. Jesus knew that the man wanted to hear that he was already doing the right things but with his divine perspective.

Jesus defined what it means to love God and love others.

To this day. Christians are still set apart from the world when we follow this teaching Stephen called this lesson, leaving a trace of grace. Several years ago, CVS, anchorman and reporter by the name of Hugh ride was just outside his home in New York City. He was beaten and not down. He remained conscious, his eyes open, but unable to move. He lay right there next to his doorstep and all he could do was moan hours later, after being rescued he recounted the rather frightening scene from his perspective. He watched people walk past him in the darkness. He said that even the milkman came and put cans of milk down right next to a woman hurting moan and looked it up and then walked away. No one stopped until later that that morning, I've read in recent days that even 911 professionals have been trained to respond to people calling for help are always willing one news report about woman hiding in the store or as an active shooter was on a rampage. She dialed 911 and whispered for help.

Apparently the operator scolded the woman for whispering and then hung up another 91911 operator received a call from a terrified woman who was stalled in a flooded road. Her car was beginning to fill up with water.

It all happened so suddenly that she was afraid to open her door. Water was rushing by even roll your window down. She called ask for for a rescue.

In the meantime advice on what to do instead of putting on hold and calling for help. The operator began lecturing her on how foolish she was the driver.

The storm didn't you know better than that.

She lectured on until the line with dad and the woman drowned. It's interesting legislators and lawmakers have struggled with this issue of human responsibility, trying to determine it when it how people should be willing down.

Sometimes you might be afraid to help might make things work. Every state in our country. Now has what they call officially good Samaritan laws you can look them state by state as I did this past week is fascinating to me that the concept behind these laws comes from a conversation Jesus had with a lawyer if you turn in your Bibles back to Luke were in chapter 10 I want us to listen in on this conversation and I want to tell you ahead of time. It has direct bearing on your attitude in mind to this very day of how we treat and love people were now in Luke chapter 10 and verse 25 and behold look lawyer stood up to put him to the test.

Say teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life. Now Jesus could have embarrassed him by responding well you're a lawyer, you should know you don't do anything to receive an inheritance. Somebody died here alive. They let you something you decide to have a nice day.

This wasn't a legal question. This was a theological question. So asking what I have to do is the same thing as asking how good do I have to be to get that we probably expected Jesus to rattle off the standard set of rules for getting in follow the traditions of your fathers obey rabbinical teaching observe the Jewish ordinances and ceremonies. Cindy got a good shot at it. So Jesus does here as he gives them a pop quiz in verse 26 he said to him what is written in the law was go back to the Bible, you got a copy of it, even studying that Torah.

How do you read it. So in other words, this is an open book quiz. I love those when I was going through school of the Bible open it up. What is the Bible say makes a person right with God and how do you interpret it.

In other words, what is that look like in your life. This is easy quiz for this lawyer.

In fact, he already has the answer memorized that depraved, the answer every morning and every evening before going to bed as a good Jewish man would've done came from Deuteronomy 6 here is recorded in verse 27. This is his answer. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. Don't stop there for a moment Jewish world at this time.

Believe justice rightly. Most people do to this day the heart was the center of a motion and desire so was the center of consciousness personality. Strength was the center of will and determination and the mind they viewed as the center of cognition or intelligent so get this the greatest commandment in the law really wasn't all rule. It was a relationship means you love God with everything about within the lawyer goes one step further. You notice he adds another passage. This is from Leviticus 19 verse 18. Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus says in verse 28 you have answered correctly, you get an A+ on the pop quiz you garbage out your parents put on the refrigerator. Whatever you do, you got A+ Jesus says and here's the kicker. Now go and do this you will live is one thing to quote Scripture.

Another thing to apply Scripture.

And here's the catch. Jesus is so wise as he responds here he could've asked the man at this point well do you love God with all your heart and the man could've easily settled course I do that what you said is invisible.

That's intangible but the trouble is here. He added that little part about your neighbor. See that's intangible. That's physical evidence. You can bring that into the courtroom. Jesus could go knock on his neighbors door and ask a neighbor's.

She's one thing to say you love God. It's another thing to demonstrate that love by loving people and he's probably standing here thinking why did I add that little part you know about loving my neighbor so what he does is he begins to look for a loophole.

Verse 20 he desiring to justify himself. He knows he's in a cul-de-sac said to Jesus, and who is my neighbor. She knows the evidence isn't going to be all that helpful.

So you stalling for time and is asking Jesus for his definition of neighbor. This might sound like a ridiculous question buddies is trying to minimize this culpability is trying to whittle it down to the narrowest issue you need another by the time of of our Lord. The Jewish rabbis were defining a man's neighbor as a follower of God. When you read you something, a famous Rabbi wrote in his best-selling book. He was born 190 years before Jesus. This is the standard rule of phone and I quote. If you do good know to whom you do it give to the devout do not help the center hold back their bread. Do not give it to them. Give it to the one who is good, they deserve the Jesus doesn't of course by end of the status quo as you know, said he begins to tell a story that is radically redefine your neighbor is and what love really looks like out there in the traffic pattern of your life and mine starts telling the story in verse 30 notice, Jesus replied a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers who stripped him and beat him departed, leaving him half dead. Not everybody listening to Jesus would've immediately resonated with this scene because this story was in their newspapers every other day that so many people were Rob Dan injured or even killed on this stretch of road for the last several hundred years the by the time Jesus is telling the story.

The road has been nicknamed the blotting Road I'm using to travel out without an armed guard see people listening to this story is Jesus describes this man nearly beaten to death and Rob would've been shaking her head. Yeah we we know what you're talking about that were wondering why Norley was alone been an emergency.

Jesus says in verse 31. As the tension rises in his Jewish audience is lawyer not by chance a priest was going down that road stop that is in the same direction. Sonata crowns get up right now this is great here comes the hero of the story. This is a mandate defined devotion to God. Jesus continues and by chance a priest was going down that road and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. That's startling, unexpected anybody supposed to be good enough to get into the kingdom. It's a member of the professional priesthood, but he passed by on the other side.

He literally changed lanes. Why were not told, but here's a clue, numbers 1911 were informed that during Old Testament times these days, anyone who came in contact with a dead body would be automatically unclean for seven days. So to this priest. He looked at says he saw him, so he's, you know, assuming he's dead. He looks dead probably is dead. No need to go over and check his pulse and then have to quarantine for seven days. We know what it pain it is quarantine for seven days. Regular volunteer for that you don't make appointments.

Beloved in your calendar to be a good Samaritan you know you will schedule a convenient times for helping people you just show up. This lawyer had this Bible verse memorized what it is not about to have it exercise, verse 32 says likewise a Levite also. When he came to the place, and so on, passed by on the other side. He changed lanes as well. The, the audience is going to be shot tear. The priest didn't help, but they definitely expected the Levite they served as Temple assistance they had calluses on their hands. They got dirty was messy. They they worked with the difficult portions of this labor that there's a bill for this sort of thing that the Levite will take care of it.

The language in this narrative gives the implication to us that he actually took a closer look supply that he stood there for a moment or two deciding what to do next and were not told why he walked away, but I want us to be careful not to point fingers to quickly become one of them for a moment does not downplay the danger possible. The thieves are still there by they might even be waiting for their next victim. This could be a set up the decoy. I doubt this Levite is looking over his shoulder for any sign of danger, for whatever the reason he decided that the risk wasn't worth me tell you love the amazing thing in this isn't that the priest and the Levite not stop to help. This was a dangerous road was in the wrong part of town's was not the place to pull over as I thought about this text. I remember when Marsha and I were living in Detroit, Michigan where I was earning my first seminary degree Detroit, Michigan city well-known for safety, low crime, Marsha had gone to seminary wives gathering one evening on her way home.

Well after dark.

Our old beat up car broke down once again was a green Velarde and if you old enough to remember the beauty of the Plymouth Velarde the Volvo and the glory are similar.

They both begin with a V that's about it. Validity rate.

Marsha decided on her way home to cut through a dangerous part of town to save time and that's when the car broke down, came to a stop underneath a railroad bridge with no lights anywhere. This is before cell phones, GPS can only imagine how afraid she was to know to do no way to reach me. She was about to get out and walk, but then a car pulled up behind her and the young man walked up to her window and asked if he could help in all she would do is roll down her window. Just 1/8 of an inch. She gave him our apartment phone number and asked him to go call me.

He explained that he was actually coming back from his wedding rehearsal dinner and he was getting married. The next day he wouldn't want he said his bride stuck here like she was and he reminded Marsha the she was not in the safe part of town. She Artie knew that. So off he went to call me during that time Marsha saw another car coming her way. It slowed down a bit and then drove away. It was a police car, but she didn't see him in.

He didn't see her because when he pulled up she thought, down in the front seat of the car. A few minutes later.

This young man returned even brought her a cup of coffee that I want to sit behind you in my car until help arrives. Whatever you called me. I call the seminary body to was home. Obviously having his car available and I explained the situation and they didn't even take them to come and pick me up.

They just both gives life hopped in the car took off to go get her problem was they traveled the normal route between the seminary and our apartment, not the shortcut. She had taken the couldn't find her. At one point he made an illegal U-turn and when you know blue lights begin to flash behind them. In these pulled over, explain what he was doing when he said he was looking for going green Velarde. The officer said all I pass the car little bit ago. I know exactly where it is. I was the same policeman that is driven by the tile back in our cars and drove over to where Marshall is located will live happily ever after. I want to be too hard on this priest and Levite in the wrong part of town. I wonder if I would've stopped to help see the more I think about this narrative of the surprising thing to me is not that these two men did not stop to help. The surprising thing is that somebody verse 33 but a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was when he saw he had compassion. He went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine that he set him on his own animal and brought into, and in one author commented that Jesus is audiences would've expected the Samaritan to show up and finish with the robber started not health. The implication of the story courses that the beaten man is Jewish. Now Samaritan showing up to help, which the contrast is remarkable.

The Jews and Samaritans as if you're old and the faith older in the faith. You know the they hated one another in this hatred had grown for centuries so so this parable that was about to take an expected unexpected turn of events. The longer and these people would have assumed that the third person. The shop would've been a layman and Israelite layman so you know Jesus get the dig and at the official religious leaders and look up and Israelite is not part of the clergy help. That's what they're expected Samaritan is unexpected. Would you notice again. The Samaritans compassion is comprehensive, he bandaged his wounds, he probably strips of cloth from his own turbine or tunic report on his wounds wine that disinfected the wounds and oil that relieve them. By the way Jews never purchased oil and wine from Samaritans.

They thought it would be tainted, corrupted, dirty, unclean, set him on his horse or mule, implying that he now walked and he took them to an end. Now get this. At this point, the average person in church thinks the Samaritan paid the innkeeper to take care of them and then took off. So what happened notice again. Verse 34 we set him on his own animal and brought them to the end and took care of him and took care of him and the next day. That means he took care of him through the night at the most critical stage of this man's survival.

He didn't hand off. He stayed up with him. Care of the next day he took out two denarii. I gave them to the innkeeper saying take care of them in whatever more you spend all repay you when I come back effectively gives the innkeeper his MasterCard to cover the expenses.

Historians believe that this would have covered this man's room and board for nearly one month. That does not happen.

That does not happen. The point is that somebody truly knows and loves God should be the person that does make this happen that Jesus, by the way, is it defining the plan of salvation. You know, if you want to go to heaven around looking for the accident victim and help note just as Jesus responded to certain individuals in this Old Testament context. This is pre-cross.

He knows their hearts any any looks at that key element of hypocrisy or rebellion any any points his finger.

He presses that button to the rich man what it is to all your stuff away the following 02. This man is proud prejudice, partial man to touch that button turns this lawyer and he asks him one more question. Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among robbers, get this, verse 37.

He said the one who showed him mercy. He can't even begin to bring himself to say the Samaritan can't say it can get out of his mouth in a positive context. Samaritan she's got the point.

But he's not going to repent of his prejudices, partiality, spry. He wants to continue to claim that he lives God, but I hate the Samaritan tell you the good Samaritan. Here's presented for us as a model with me an unusual model. He had every reason to hate this Jewish man one less Jew in the world. Great.

11.C presents for us a model not for getting into heaven. The kingdom with how to act like a king. By the way, found you hopeless broken. Jesus saw arson had compassion on stopped student to pick up some. He restored our lives and put us on her feet and he paid from Bill and the promise to come back. Everything he touches in your life and mine leaves the evidence of love trace of grace, so should we. Stephen called this lesson, leaving a trace. It's the 12th message in a series called into the spotlight.

There's one more message left in this series and will bring you that on our next broadcast, but in the meantime, we want to make sure that you've seen our monthly magazine, heart-to-heart Stephen deals with a different topic each month he helps you understand what the Bible says and how it applies directly to your life magazine also has a daily devotional guide you can use that to spend personal time in God's word every day. This is a resource that we send as a gift to show our appreciation to all of our wisdom partners. We also sent three free issues to anyone who asks, would like to send it to you if you haven't seen it yet. As soon as you get to wisdom online.org you'll notice a link on the homepage that will take you right to the sign join us next time.

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