This week we will study the Second Great Commandment, which is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. One day, a teacher of the law tested Jesus with the question, “And who is my neighbor?” hoping to interpret the commandment to justify his prejudice. In reply, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.
Loving Others Luke 10:25-37
Then an expert in the law stood up to test him, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the law?” he asked him. “How do you read it?” He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and “your neighbor as yourself.” “You’ve answered correctly,” he told him. “Do this and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus took up the question and said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down that road. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him. When I come back I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.’ “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”
Pastor John’s Notes:
In this parable, Jesus exposed the prejudice of the teacher of the law who wanted to justify himself. We should note that is always dangerous to ask Jesus a question because we may not like the answer that we get. It is even more dangerous to present ourselves as wiser than we truly are, for Jesus will certainly humble us. Yet even to those who are haughty and proud, Jesus is still a gentle teacher. He will work not only to enlighten our minds but to effect a change in our character.
Lord Jesus Christ, strip away every false pretense I carry within me and teach me to love others as you do. Let the Parable of the Good Samaritan be the key to a deeper love for all humanity.