‘ Teacher what should I do to inherit eternal life?
The Parable of the good Samaritan is precipitated by and in answer to a question posed to Jesus by a lawyer.
The text says that the scribe had put the question to Jesus as a test.
Now it`s very strange to me how Jesus answered the question, I would have thought Jesus would have quoted Romans 10:9 `
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Jesus did not discuss salvation issues.
He did not say be perfect. He did not say just go to church. He did not say stop drinking. He did not say stop doing drugs. He did not say give your money.
He chose a different course and focuses on our relationship and what it means to love.
Jesus answers the question using what is called the Socratic method, answering a question with a question.
He said to him what is written in the law? The scribe answers Jesus by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5. Jesus affirms that the lawyer`s answer was correct.
Teacher ,which is the greatest commandment in the law?
Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
But this kind of love requires more than an emotional feeling.
The scribe was an educated man and realized that he could not possibly keep that law.
There would always be people in his life that he could not love.
So he tries to test Jesus.tries to limit the law`s command by limiting its parameters and asked the question `who is my neighbor?
The word neighbor in the Greek means someone who is near and in the Hebrew it means someone that you have an association with.
This interprets the word in a limited sense, referring to a fellow Jew and would have excluded the Samaritans, Romans, and other foreigners.
The Parable tells the story of a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, and while on the way he is robbed of everything he had, and beaten to within an inch of his life.
The next character Jesus introduces into His story is a Priest.
The priest showed no love or compassion for the man.
This man knew the law, but not love.
Then a Levite passes by, he to know the law but not love.
The next person to come by is the Samaritan, the one least likely to have shown compassion for the man.
Samaritans were considered a low-class of people, they did not keep all the law.
But he kept the one that matters to Jesus.
He did not consider the man`s race or religion.
The Good Samaritan saw only a person in dire need of assistance, and assist him he did, above and beyond the minimum required. what every you do for the Lord let it be real.
Do to the best of your ability .
He dresses the man`s wounds with wine. He puts the man on his animal and takes him to an inn for a time of healing and pays the innkeeper with his own money.
Then he tells the innkeeper to take good care of the man and he would pay for any extra expenses on his return trip. The Samaritan saw his neighbor as anyone who was in need. Jesus is drawing a strong contrast between those who knew the law and those who actually followed the law in their lifestyle and conduct.
Jesus is telling us to follow the Samaritan`s example in our own conduct. We are to show compassion and love for those we encounter in our everyday activities. We are to love others.
Regardless of their race or religion. We are to give generously and freely without expectation of return. So what shall i do to inherit eternal life? Love, because God is love.
To God Be The Glory
Bishop A.R Thomas