The Good Samaritan

SCRIPTURE: Luke 10:30-37, NLT

30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

INTRODUCTION

The Jewish Elitist Religious Establishment {JERE} hated Jesus. A part of this hatred stemmed from the fact that Jesus loved everyone: rich or poor, male or female, Jew or Gentile, Tax Collector or Samaritan. I get amused at the ignorant folks in this nation who are always clamoring about racial prejudice. These uneducated morons need to visit the Middle East. Not even Yankees, the most prejudiced of all Americans can hold a light to first century racism in Palestine. The JERE or Jewish elites despised all Gentiles and especially the Romans. They loathed their own poor and those who worked for Rome [Tax Collectors] but they hated [in the deepest sense of the word] Samaritans who were part Jewish and part Gentile [Settlers that the Assyrians transplanted in the holy land].

The JRE thought more of a dog, than a Samaritan and they very lowly of a dog. A stray dog got hit by a car in front of our house the other night and I had to put the poor creature out of his misery and I don’t like to do such things. I can kill a fly without hesitation but it bothers me to have to shot a dog. I am not going to tell you that it kept me up all night because it did not. I simply did what had to be done. An elitist Jew would have no problem conscience wise in putting a Samaritan down.

Jesus tells this story in relationship to the second commandment–Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. The JERE would love their neighbor if they were elitist Jews, but they would never consider a poor Jew, tax collector, Gentile or Samaritan to be their neighbor.

TRANSITION

There are four groups of people [segments of society] represented in this story and this morning, I want to talk about three of them. Tonight, LORD willing, I will talk about the fourth who are what we would call the “Victims.” A better word might be the “hurting.” In each of the first three groups, we have a creed and a philosophy.

I. THE FIRST GROUP IS THE BANDITS

“A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.”

The bandits represent the criminally minded: they are vicious and their creed is violence.

Their philosophy is “What is yours is mine and I am going to take it.”

These are they who respect no laws and seem to get a kick out of shedding innocent blood. This group is prone to violence, they will beat you up and leave you to die. They have no compassion, no sympathy and certainly no love. You and I love to help people, this groups loves to hurt people. The segment of society ruthless and relentless. They enjoy crime.

I’m not reading between lines, all of this is in the story. Bandits is plural, the Jewish man is singular. The bandits had him hopelessly out numbered [bandits are bullies] so there was no reason whatsoever to beat the man half to death. They could have easily over powered him and taken his valuables: there was no need to beat the man half to death. In spite of the naivety of liberals or flakes, there are mean and violent people in our society. They are not stealing because their children are hungry or because their ancestors were mistreated, they beat people up just for pleasure. No reason to beat him up but it is second nature for a thug and hooligan.

In Chicago, this week [April 1-7], seven people have been murdered [A slow week for Chicago]. Petro Ryman, age 56 [Mixed], Angel Ortiz, age 51 [Hispanic], Anthony Heatherly, age 17 [White], Babette Miller, age 35 [Black], Gerwancy Rambus, age 32 [Black], Aurelio Guzman, age 32 [White], and one Unkown, age 30 [Mixed]. Most of these victims were shot and some were stabbed.

In spite of undeniable evidence that we live in a sin cursed and violent world, we have idiots who declare that “Evil” does not exist and there is no such person as the devil. By the way, this same group of morons have no respect for the word of God.

II. THE SECOND GROUP IS THE JERE [JEWISH ELITIST RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT.

The second group is represented by the Priest and Levite.

There creed is greed and their philosophy is– “What is mine is mine and I am going to keep it.”

As I say often, this group wants “to get all it can; can all they get and then set on the lid so no one else can get any.” They don’t want to owe all the land, just every parcel that connects to their property. This group is selfish and satisfied. They are more concerned about comfort than they are conversions. They are driven by the instinct of self-preservation. This is the group who gives advice but not money. They are all talk and no walk.

These are the folks who should care about the hurting but they don’t. They are driven by their own self-interest and they cannot look out for the interest of others because they are too preoccupied with their own interest. When did you last put your life on hold, so you could help someone else?

These are the religious folks who are more concerned about getting to the temple on time than they are hurting people who liter the roadway. Their religion had failed them.

The greatest problem in the modern church, as I see it, is that we associate church with worship and bible study attendance. This is a part of being and doing church but only a tiny part. A real church gets into ministry, evangelism and missions. The two selfish churchmen in this story were avoiding ministry, even to a fellow Jew.

What has happened to the church? Has our hearts become so hard that we are insensitivity to the hurting among us and around us. The fields are littered with hurting people while we are hiding in a building, soothing our conscience by playing church.

III. THE THIRD GROUP IS REPRESENTED BY THE SAMARITAN.

their credo is–“Whats mine is yours and I am going to share.” These are your good neighbors.

These are the folks who hurt with you; who bind up your wounds and spare no expense. These are the people who care, who are concerned and who show compassion. These are the people who are willing to take risk to help you. The Good Samaritan gave of his time, resources and even committed to long term care. How refreshing in light of the callous, indifferent and self-centered Jews who passed by a fellow Jew and would not help due to the risk involved.

The number one reason people do not get involved in ministry is their self-centeredness; their inability to put others first. No one will ever become a minister when their primary concern is themselves.

A second problem in ministry is fear. Travel was dangerous in ancient times. The same group of bandits who robbed and beat this man half to death could still be in the area, the Priest and Levite were not taking any chances. Folks, there is no such thing as “Risk Free Ministry,” all ministry involves a risk. These two men were lacking in courage: ministry is not for cowards. The Samaritan risk rejection, he risk attack, he took a risk with his investment; would he be thanked by the Jewish community. Would his act of kindness be appreciated. Would he get a thank you note in the mail? Would the man repay him when he got on his feet? 

When people demand answers to all their questions before they involve themselves in ministry, they will never get involved. They may talk about ministry but they will never engage in the act because they want guarantees and there are no guarantees in ministry.

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