Welcome to our second study about KINDNESS. This week we’ll be reading about the Good Samaritan who showed kindness to a man, beaten and robbed, as he traveled down the road. We’ll also discover some deeper meanings of this parable and how it relates to our lives today.
“ ‘You shall 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.’ ”(Luke 10:27 NKJV)
Luke 10:25-37 (Click HERE to read)
A certain expert in the law stood up in the temple and tested Jesus by asking what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus also tested the lawyer by asking him to explain what the law said about it.
“So he answered and said, ‘You shall 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.’ ”(Luke 10:27 NKJV)
Jesus commended him for answering correctly, but the lawyer wanted to argue in his own defense by asking, “And who is my neighbor?” (v.29) Apparently, the lawyer felt justified in choosing from an exclusive circle. That question was a springboard for Jesus to answer with a parable.
Here’s a short summary: A man traveled from Jerusalem to Jericho and encountered a band of thieves who beat and robbed him, leaving him naked and half-dead. A priest and a Levite both passed him by, but later a Samaritan stopped to help. He applied first-aid to his wounds and carried him on his animal to an inn where he cared for him. The next day the Samaritan paid the innkeeper to take care of the man in his absence and promised to pay him any additional costs upon his return.
Then Jesus questioned the lawyer. “ ‘So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’ And he replied, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’ ”(Luke 10:36-37 NKJV)
“Who is my neighbor?” (v.29)
Jesus rubbed more salty truth into the lawyer’s query by choosing a Samaritan as the hero of the parable. A Samaritan was the most unlikely person to help a Jew according to the culture of that day.
Notice that right off the bat, the Lord brought in two clashing cultures who had no dealings with one another. (To understand why not, click HERE to read last week’s post.) So, right away this story must have sounded unbelievable to the ears of the scholarly lawyer.
But Jesus had a solid point–that even those who should have been helping their own pretended not to see their suffering.
What was Jesus teaching us? Everyone is our neighbor. God extends His lovingkindness to all mankind, even to His enemies, and we must also emulate His mercy.
A deeper meaning…
This parable not only teaches us to be kind to all men–it has a deeper meaning, a picture of salvation. God, out of His lovingkindness and compassion, sent Jesus to rescue us out of the distress and hopelessness of our sinful lives.
- The beaten, naked, half-dead man on life’s road is each one of us.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”(John 10:10a NKJV)
2. The priest and the Levite represent the lawyer but can signify anyone who reacts to others’ needs with a cold heart.
“And He said, ‘Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.’ ”(Luke 11:46 NKJV)
3. The Samaritan is Jesus, a kindhearted, compassionate person who doesn’t hesitate to help anyone in need, whether in or outside his cultural or religious circle. He accepts us just as we are.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”(Galatians 6:2 NKJV)
“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin.”(James 2:8-9 NKJV)
4. When we become saved, the Lord pours in the oil and the wine to heal all our inner and outer wounds, and he binds us up with His tender mercies.
“Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old.”(Psalm 25:6 NKJV)
5. He carries us to the inn, His house of worship where we are sheltered and protected. There we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ during our earthly sojourn.
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”(Ephesians 2:19 NKJV)
6. The Innkeeper is God the Holy Spirit. Jesus paid the price to Father God for our sins by shedding His blood and dying on the cross in our place. We reside on earth with our Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to care for us until Jesus returns to take us to heaven.
“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”(I John 2:2 NKJV)
Jesus is our picture of true kindness…
Jesus gives us a picture of what true kindness looks like. Like Him, let’s show mercy to kindly help others in need. Let’s lead the lost to the lovingkindness of the cross.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”(Ephesians 2:4-7 NKJV)
Do you love God with all your heart, soul, strength, mind–and your neighbor as yourself?
How do you show God’s lovingkindness to your neighbor?
Dear Lord, We love and praise You for being our Good Samaritan and giving us eternal life. May we generously give Your love away to those who are hurting and always love our neighbors as ourselves. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.