February 6, 2018

Today you should read: Luke 10:30-37

Our passage today might be one of the most famous passages in the Bible. If you need an example, we have a hospital in our city named after the Good Samaritan—it’s called Good Samaritan. The problem with a lot of church people is that they think they understand the story of the Good Samaritan. However, what they lack is the context. The story isn’t simply an admonition to do a good thing. It is that, but it’s much more than that.

We must realize that this parable is in response to a question asked by an expert in the religious Law. This Lawyer sought to “test” Jesus (10:25). The word “test” is probably better understood as “entrap.” Do not be fooled, this was not an intellectual quiz, this was a rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. I won’t rehash yesterday’s passage, but as a very wise professor said to us in seminary, “I have a couple doctorates, I know many wise and wonderful things, and one such thing is this, verse 30 comes after verse 29.” You see, Jesus’ telling of the Good Samaritan is in response to this Lawyer “wishing to justify himself” by asking “who is my neighbor?” This is a critical element, because the story isn’t really about the characters, it’s about this Lawyer and all that he represents.

Jesus chose the most hated of hero’s for his parable—a Samaritan. The question of “Who is my neighbor?” for this Lawyer really means, “Who is worthy enough to be considered my neighbor.” This guy was among the religious elite after all, and while most Jews only considered other Jews to be their neighbor, the elite often looked down on the non-elite Jews. Thus, the idea of a non-Jew was intolerable, but a hated half-breed, Samaritan, was vomit-inducing.

Jesus’ parable flips the statement of the Lawyer on its head. The priest and the Levite did not, according to the conversation before the parable, exhibit a love for God and love for others—despite their religious service, they did not fulfill the Law. Instead, it was the Samaritan who fulfilled the Law and appears in this story to answer the question of the Lawyer, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

This also harkens back to Jesus statement in 10:21 that, “You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” The Lawyer wanted to know who was good enough to be his neighbor, while Jesus illustrates that a neighbor has more to do with your heart towards people than anything else—proximity, race, culture, status, etc. A neighbor is not a peer, but someone that you can help, someone you can elevate, someone for whom you can show tangible love with no expectation or hope of repayment. The question “Who is my neighbor,” is not the right question. Really, the question is “Who do I hate and how can I serve them?”
This story is a GREAT example of what I mean when I discuss the idea of the “heart of God.” In the comments share how this story challenges you personally today to love someone in your life—maybe even someone who is harder to love? “Go and do the same.”

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

3 thoughts on “February 6, 2018”

  1. Thanks for the good word today TS. A verse from yesterday’s reading has been rattling around in my mind over the last 24 hours.

    21) At the same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and He said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.

    I’m sure we’ve all known folks who are extremely intelligent, and perhaps have advanced degrees, who are antagonistic to those of us with “childlike” faith. If I’m really honest about it, my gut response is to get a little angry and agitated with these folks. I know that is an inappropriate response. Jesus was confronted many times by the so called wise and clever of His time. It’s both sad & comical that the religious leaders tried to outsmart the living Word who became flesh. While it’s always important to stand for biblical truth the appropriate response is to pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to them so that they would not perish.

  2. This is just what I needed to read today. Last night I made a commitment with my connect group that I would reach out and attempt to build my relationship with my brother back up. It’s been burned down many times from his hurtful actions and I tend to retreat from him so I don’t get hurt again. Even though it’s hard to love him, God will provide the wisdom and love I need to show to him. Thanks Tyler!

    1. That’s awesome that God is challenging you in that way. If you need any help, we’re here for you to encourage you however we can.

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