Home / Faith / The Lawyer, The LORD Jesus And The Good Samaritan

The Lawyer, The LORD Jesus And The Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall do to inherit eternal life?

An expert in the law, who thought he was fairly clever, came to Jesus wanting to test Him to see if His reputation of being wise, was warranted. He asked Jesus, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus, (who is reputed for answering questions with another question) says straight back to the lawyer, ‘what does the law say?’ And of course, this lawyer could confidently give the answer, ‘love the LORD, and love your neighbor.’ Jesus knew that he had summed up the ten commandments succinctly, by loving God first and then loving others.

But the lawyer was not satisfied. He wanted to test Jesus further and so asks, ‘then who is my neighbor?’ He asks this question because he’s looking for a loophole within the law. The lawyer knows that he doesn’t love his neighbor and he hopes that Jesus’ answer will justify his self-centered position. It is then that Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan to the lawyer and all those who stood by listening.

Oftentimes we are not dissimilar to the lawyer. We want to justify ourselves and our behavior. How often have we caught ourselves looking out for another voice or opinion to support our position? We gravitate towards stories that back up our prejudice, intolerance, and failure to truly love our neighbor. Surely people of other nations and cultures are not my neighbor? Jesus couldn’t have meant that my neighbor are people groups that I have not time for or cannot see eye to eye with? Which peoples do we have no time for? Which people do we avoid? Who is it that we struggle to see as our neighbor? Perhaps, it is even our neighbors. These are the very people that are our neighbors and that Jesus calls us to love.

The lawyer was externalizing an internal problem. He was looking to quantify who his neighbor was, but Jesus clearly saw that that was not the problem. The lawyer had a lack of love and this encompassed all that were different to him. Hoping that there might be some he doesn’t have to love, the lawyer asks Jesus, ‘who is my neighbor out there?’ However, Jesus asked, ‘are you being a good neighbor by loving whomever you meet?’

In the parable of the good Samaritan, the one who was least expected to do good, was the one who truly loved his neighbor. The Samaritan reaches out in love and compassion and helps the beaten, naked and dying man. Instead of seeing the dying man as a problem to avoid, as the ‘religious’ Priest and Levite did, he saw this man as a person who needed love. Do we see people as problems that we need to avoid, or people who need to be loved? Or like the priest, the Levite and the lawyer are we too occupied, too prejudice or too set in our own patterns of thinking and behavior to show compassion on those in need?

Often it is those who have suffered in a certain way, who have the greatest compassion for others going through what they have experienced themselves. The troubles that we face may seem an annoyance at the time, but it is these very experiences that can stir us to show care and compassion for those facing the same hardship. The Samaritan understood pain and rejection. Suffering persecution from the Jews, for historically both people groups vehemently hated one another, he could identify with the man lying beaten and destitute on the roadside. Assistance, without hesitation seemed like the most obvious thing to do.

Often we fail to look into the heart of another. We fail to stop and listen. We don’t take time to hear the hurting heart of another and become aware of their broken spirit. We may never see someone physically beaten and robbed in our daily lives, but there are many people close by who are beaten mentally, spiritually and emotionally. There are people robbed of hope, beaten up by life’s daily difficulties and hardships. And God will lead us to them at any time and any where as we ask Him. Where can we show the spirit and action of the good Samaritan? Who are the robbed and beaten ones the LORD has brought across our path that need to experience love and compassion?

LORD, may I be an instrument of Your love, kindness and peace to another this very day. Lead me I ask, to those who need to know that a loving and caring God is watching over them. Forgive me for judging rather that helping, holding back when I need to give liberally and harboring prejudices that are a hindrance Your saving work. Amen.”

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

Check Also

Mary Jones And Her Bible

Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my ...

One comment

  1. Thank you Jennifer for your personal touching stories that are filled with truth and compassion, and lend a great segue into your message!

    God Bless~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *