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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


5. The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)

LUKE 10:25-28
25 Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “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.” 28 He said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live.”

In this incident, Christ shows us how God hid the truth of his kingdom from the prudent and educated, but revealed it to children. An expounder of the Mosaic Law came to Jesus, and asked him in the spirit of the law, “What must I do to inherit Paradise?” This man wanted to make every effort work hard, not for God but for himself, in order to gain a great inheritance. The poor one wanted to win heaven by his own means, knowing not his sin and faults.

The Lord immediately led this expert into the heart of the law. He tempted Jesus to give a wrong interpretation by finishing him with his net of law. He had to confess that man’s love to God means eternal life. Then, how do you love God? How many times do you think of him during your day? How much of your strength, time, and money do you actually sacrifice for your Creator? Do not deceive yourself. You turn around yourself, and your problems take up your entire attention. God is not the center of your universe. This is why you are wrong, for you made of yourself a minor god, stealing the glory from your Lord. Repent, ask forgiveness from your Lord truly, and love him with all your heart that you may forget yourself, and suddenly find your poor brother-man, for God meets with you in the needy.

The love of God changes you from a lover of self to a lover of all who are afflicted. As your thoughts were previously centered on pleasing your self and your wrong desires, now they become changed, so that you think of God’s mercy on the sufferings of your friends, pray and care for them, seek those who are going astray, and sacrifice your time for many, for what you do to the least of these, you do to God. Love is perfection of law. If you do not love, you do not truly live. Turn without delay to the love of God, that by the warmth of his tender mercy you will respond to him.

LUKE 10:29-37
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus answered, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, 34 came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, ‘Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.’ 36 Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

This expert in the religious teachings of the Mosaic Law preferred argument and conversation rather than talk of love. He was not willing to turn his hard heart and stony mind in repentance before the fire of the love of Christ, but persisted in argument to test the Holy One, and derive knowledge from him on the limits of love. Christ answered him with divine authority recognizing that he clearly realized the implications of the law, but this knowledge is not sufficient, for it needs to be applied. The Son of Man showed him what the heavenly Father wanted us to do in practice.

In this parable, we are all like this poor traveler who fell among thieves, for life is merciless, and each one is trying to steal the other’s shirt. If an accident happened to a driver at night, and no passers-by stopped in spite of his signals to them, the poor driver would suffer. If a confused young man sought some brother to hear his complaint, give him advice, and pray with him, and none of the brothers responded to him, he would lose hope of receiving help from these brothers and not to seek them anymore. He would also curse them. If rich people indulge their imaginations and relax, and did not help in building poor peoples, God’s unavoidable wrath will come.

Have you ever hoped that some friend would help you when you were in debt, and this friend did not turn to help you, but denied you and pretended not to know you? How did you feel? Know that this selfish man is your own heart, for the path of your life is paved with the crushed and poor who had expected your help, but you passed by them without mercy.

Do you want them to curse you before God for your hardheartedness? Do you avoid visiting the sick for fear of infection? Do you feel disgust at dirtiness and do not enter the huts of refugees? Are you clever to an extent, which prevents you from speaking with the ignorant whom God has chosen to inherit his kingdom? Do you want today only to sing in the choir of your church, or also to speak with your friends about God? Do you not have enough time to succor and relieve a dirty beggar knocking at your door? By ignoring out such a neglected man, you have left out God, your Lord, for the loving Holy One and the rejected poor man are one.

The despised Samaritan became an example to the entire world and a token of Christ himself who was merciful to all men, kept them to the end, and gave his precious blood as a price for man’s salvation. Thus Christ taught us how to answer the lawyer’s question, by correcting his question and then answering it. It is not necessary to ask about the duties by which we may please God, for this is the wondering of the cold and selfish. But he who loves asks about those in need of help that he may hurry to them and help them. Christ completely changed the purport of the question about neighbor. None is my neighbor, except he who did not pass by me, but had compassion on me and saved me. In this manner, we love him as he loved us, and we become neighbors to all men.

PRAYER: O Lord, forgive me that I know my duties but fail to do them. Change my heart that I may become a neighbor to the afflicted, hurry to them and help them, as you hurry to me and save me. Fill my heart with your love that I may love you and love all men at all times, and serve them in practical ways.

QUESTION 77: Who is your neighbor?


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