The Good Samaritan

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Van, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Van

    Van
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    In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tells the story of the Samaritan. In the story, the Samaritan is never referred to a Good. This descriptive term has been added by those who have studied the story from an eternal perspective. Let go over the story and see if adding Good is a good thing.

    The NASB version of the parable reads thus:

    25And a certain lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

    26And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?"

    27And he answered, "YOU SHALL 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 He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE."

    29But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

    The Good Samaritan

    30Jesus replied and said, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.

    31"And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

    32"Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

    33"But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,

    34and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

    35"On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.'

    36"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?"

    37And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."

    Many of us have read this story and gleamed that the idea is to show mercy to whomever we encounter. And that is certainly an essential truth being taught by Jesus. However, if we go over the story again, perhaps we can gleam additional insights.

    25And a certain lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

    Here we see that an expert in the law asked the question. This person I believe was influenced by the Holy Spirit to ask the question, for this was not just some lawyer, but a certain lawyer. Note that the lawyer was not dealing straight up with Jesus but was asking a question calculated to test or trap Jesus. So we learn that this guy says one thing but means something else. He chooses his words carefully, he parses his sentences so that they seem to say one thing, but actually mean something else.
    Next, notice that this lawyer says, what shall I do, meaning what must I do to acquire an inheritance of eternal life. Under the Old Covenant, salvation was by works, and this is the mindset of the lawyer.

    26And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?"

    Jesus responded in kind, because Jesus knew everything concerning the heart of those He encountered. So Jesus “tests” the lawyer by asking, “what is written in the Law?” The second part of his response seems like an unnecessary addition, doesn’t it? Jesus already asked the question. Here, according to some commentators, Jesus is trying to teach the lawyer some humility. Since most folks back then were illiterate, those that could read would often belittle others by asking, how does it read to you when they knew the person probably could not read. Thus Jesus may be tossing the contempt the lawyer had hidden in his heart for those less educated back into the lawyer’s lap. Perhaps not, but it rings true as a possibility to me.

    27And he answered, "YOU SHALL 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."

    Here the lawyer gives a good summary of the requirements of the Old Covenant. In Deuteronomy 6:5 we find love God with all your heart, soul and strength. In Leviticus 19:18 we learn not to be bear a grudge against “one of your people” but instead “love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus Himself summarized the Law in very much the same way in Matthew 22:37-39.

    28And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE."

    Here Jesus says if you can keep the whole Law as summarized, you will live. He does not mention that we not only believe in God and be completely devoted to God, we must also believe in the One God sent, our beloved Jesus, the Christ, because only by believing in the forgiveness of sins, as provided by Christ, can we be covered by His propitiation since everybody falls short of the glory of God. It appears if we come to Christ with the heart of an arrogant lawyer, Christ returns the favor.

    29But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

    Here we see the lawyer’s heart revealed in his carefully crafted question, calculated to illustrate some deficiency in Jesus. Jesus then turns the tables and provides one of the most powerful and well known presentations of truth contained in all of our Lord’s parables.

    30Jesus replied and said, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.


    If we look beyond the surface teaching of Jesus in this parable, I think Jesus was teaching one of the most profound presentations of Soteriology in all the Bible. Buckle your seat belt; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
    From an eternal perspective, lets see if the players in the parable appear to represent entities important to inheriting eternal life. First we have a certain man who is going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. Superficially, we can observe Jerusalem is 2500 feet above Jericho. But lets look beyond of the surface. Jerusalem is the city of God, Revelation 21:2; Jericho is the city of the curse, Joshua 6:26. So going down to Jericho signifies going away from God.

    The certain man signifies mankind, humanity. Adam was banned from the garden and all “in Adam” are cursed with corruption. The robbers signify the effects of Satan and his demons, they strip us of our godliness and leave us in a condition where we are half dead and dying.

    31"And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
    I am sorry folks, but I cannot help but point out that by no less an authority than Jesus Christ, things happen by chance. But setting aside the fallacy of exhaustive determinism, lets think about the priest. He would be an expert in religious ceremony, or ceremonial law. But this offers no help to humanity. Note that this guy is also going down the road.

    32"Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

    Recall that all priests were Levites but not all Levites were priests. So this Levite was not a priest, but still was part of the privileged tribe supported by the other tribes. I think he represents someone who knows about the civil law, and someone who is going down to Jericho or away from God. He, too, offers no help to humanity.

    33"But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,

    I think the Samaritan represents Jesus Christ sent by God. He is on a journey, but is not going down to Jericho, He is going to a hill outside of Jerusalem. Jesus had compassion for humanity, and did not grasp being in the form of God, but became flesh for us.

    34 "and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

    Jesus came to save the lost, to bind up our wounds, and to put our sins on His body, and to bring us to a place of care, within the body of Christ. Note that the certain man did not save himself, he did not say I will pay part of the bill. He just trusted in and accepted the care of the Samaritan.

    35"On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.'

    Jesus paid the price for our salvation, and no matter how high our bill, He will pay for it. He had to leave, after paying with His life, but He will return on that day… Come Jesus Come.

    36"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?"

    He we see a clearly stated question, which of the three, the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan, proved to be the neighbor who loved the certain man more than life itself. The man that was not a Jew and not a Gentile, but someone hated for what He was, the Christ and the Son of God.

    37And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."

    Sadly we see the lawyer giving a crafty answer, he did not say the Samaritan, but instead gave the ambiguous answer, the one who showed mercy – perhaps referring in his wicked mind to the racially unidentified innkeeper. Jesus ignores the dodge and simply tells the lawyer to go and show mercy to all he encounters. Good advice me thinks.

    And oh yes, even though only God is good, the Samaritan is good.
     
  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Thanks for that exposition, Van.
    I think, however that you have missed the point of the parable. I don't believe it is allegorical. Let me ask your opinion of two pieces of Scripture.

    Like 10:25-6. '"Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?"'

    Acts 16::31-31. '"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."'

    Two very similar questions; two very different answers. Why does the Lord Jesus refer this Scribe to the law instead of telling him to trust in Him?

    Steve
     
  3. Van

    Van
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    Hi Martin, I certainly may have missed the point of the parable. But you need to tell me what you think I missed. What is that point?

    And BTW, I did address the reason for the differing responses.

    "Jesus responded in kind, because Jesus knew everything concerning the heart of those He encountered. So Jesus “tests” the lawyer by asking, “what is written in the Law?” The second part of his response seems like an unnecessary addition, doesn’t it? Jesus already asked the question. Here, according to some commentators, Jesus is trying to teach the lawyer some humility. Since most folks back then were illiterate, those that could read would often belittle others by asking, how does it read to you when they knew the person probably could not read. Thus Jesus may be tossing the contempt the lawyer had hidden in his heart for those less educated back into the lawyer’s lap. Perhaps not, but it rings true as a possibility to me."
     
  4. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    HelloVan,
    Sorry to have been so long coming back.
    I think the difference between the Corinthian jailor and this lawyer is conviction of sin. The jailor came 'trembling' to Paul and Silas. He had seen a mighty act of God and in a flash had seen himself as a sinner in need of salvation. 'What must I do to be saved?"

    The lawyer had no such conviction; his question was probably prompted by irritation at our Lord's words in v24, and was only intended to 'test' Him. Therefore Jesus referred the man to the law, by which comes the knowledge of sin. When Jesus told him, 'Do this and you will live,' he relaised he didn't come up to the standad of the law, but wanted to 'justify' himself; that is, to declare himself righteous, to dodge, as it were, the arrow of the law. "Ah yes, but it all depends on what you mean by neighbour!" Perhaps he was of the school of thought that the LOrd Jesus mentions in Matt 5:43; that a man was only your neighbour if he was a Jew, or if he was friendly, or if he was respectable. If so, then he showed a lack of understanding of the very law in which he was supposed to be an expert (Deut 10:19).

    So the Lord Jesus told the parable to shut this man up to the law and to show him (and us) that he couldn't rely on his own righteousness to make himself right with God. I believe that is the main purpose of the parable.

    Steve
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    Hi Martin, that certainly would seem to be at least one of the reasons Jesus answered the Lawyer as He did. Therefore it seems we are in agreement. Van
     

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