Saturday, October 03, 2009

Saturday Scripture Speaks - The Good Samaritan

20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.

21In that same hour He rejoiced and gloried in the Holy Spirit and said, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have concealed these things [relating to salvation] from the wise and understanding and learned, and revealed them to babes (the childish, unskilled, and untaught). Yes, Father, for such was Your gracious will and choice and good pleasure.

22All things have been given over into My power by My Father; and no one knows Who the Son is except the Father, or Who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son may choose to reveal and make Him known.

23Then turning to His disciples, He said privately, Blessed (happy, to be envied) are those whose eyes see what you see!

24For I tell you that many prophets and kings longed to see what you see and they did not see it, and to hear what you hear and they did not hear it.

25And then a certain lawyer arose to try (test, tempt) Him, saying, Teacher, what am I to do to inherit everlasting life [that is, to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah's kingdom]?

26Jesus said to him, What is written in the Law? How do you read it?

27And he replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

28And Jesus said to him, You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live [enjoy active, blessed, endless life in the kingdom of God].

29And he, determined to acquit himself of reproach, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

30Jesus,d]">]taking him up, replied, A certain man was going from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him of his clothes and belongings and beat him and went their way, [unconcernedly] leaving him half dead, as it happened.

31Now by coincidence a certain priest was going down along that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32A Levite likewise came down to the place and saw him, and passed by on the other side [of the road].

33But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled along, came down to where he was; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity and sympathy [for him],

34And went to him and dressed his wounds, pouring on [them] oil and wine. Then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

35And the next day he took out two denarii [two day's wages] and gave [them] to the innkeeper, saying, Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I [myself] will repay you when I return.

36Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?

37He answered, The one who showed pity and mercy to him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise.

Luke 10:20-40 (Amplified Bible)

I know this is a long passage of Scripture, but I do think it's important to read it within context. Most Bible teachers will agree that in order to understand any verse, you should read the verses before and after the one in question.

Our lesson (Bible study - Wed. nights) this week was about the Good Samaritan. Jeff and I were in charge of the lesson, so we did a bit of research beforehand.

Some things to remember - The Samaritans hated the Jews as much as the Jews hated the Samaritans. When the Jews journeyed for appointed feasts and worship, they would cross the Jordan River and go well out of their way in order to avoid stepping foot in Samaria. If they happened to step foot on Samaritan ground, they would shake off the dirt from their feet and cleanse themselves before entering their own land. It would be easy, in human terms to hate someone who hated you that much.

Before this passage, the disciples had asked Jesus if they could pray down fire upon the heads of the Samaritans because they had refused them food. Jesus told them NO. Then He teaches them about what it means to really love someone.

It's interesting to note that the priest, whom you would think would be the loving and compassionate person, did not help the beaten man in the parable. And the Levite? He did the same thing. But the Samaritan, who, by rights, should have hated the Jew and might even have spit upon him, did more than stop to help. He took the beaten man and placed him upon his donkey, taking him to an inn where he could receive care. This meant the Samaritan had to walk, possibly for quite a distance.

The Samaritan did more than just take the man to an inn. He left money to care for him. Two days' wages was considerable. He even said he would pay any overage this care might cost.

Jesus asks us to love others in His name. He asks us to show mercy. I found the following quotes during my research into this lesson. See if you don't agree with the authors:

"What manner of design is this then, what manner of counsel, what manner of power, not to let in a wolf amongst the sheep, but to send the sheep against the wolves!" (Augustine)

"The Jews thought the land of Israel so peculiarly holy, that when they came home from any heathen country, they stopped at the borders and shook or wiped off the dust of it from their feet, that the holy land might not be polluted with it." (John Wesley)

"...avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures." (Matthew Henry)

"Is your calendar a little full this morning? Have you checked it to see if it meshes with God's agenda for your day? In between writing letters, making phone calls and stopping at the store - did you also put in 'Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons?'" (Jerry Goebel)

"I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn't touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God." (Mother Teresa)

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