Parable: Do you want to do like the Good Samaritan, or like the one who fell among thieves?

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India

Email: Pastor True Gospel

I missed this verse, where the Jews called Jesus Christ as Samaritan. It is: "John 8:48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?"


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1. Mysteries are hidden from the wise and prudent.

The parable of Good Samaritan is one of the famous parables; so, every Christian knows this. But we must study this. We know that all parables have stories that misleads, and it has mysteries also. God structured it this way. God reveals his mysteries to his people; but he will block the understanding from the wise and prudent. Let us begin with the context (by the slip of the tongue, I think I said as content) of this parable. Jesus has received a successful report from the ministry of his disciples. He was very happy and tells his disciples in "Luke 10:20 ... in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Jesus tells his disciples, not to rejoice in the miracles and the glorious performance in the ministry, but to rejoice in the fact that their names are written in heaven. But present-day preachers rejoice in the miracles and the profit that comes from the meetings, but their names are not written in heaven. "21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." So, mysteries are hidden from the wise and prudent, but it is revealed to the humble disciples. It is the plan of God and God delights in it.

2. Wise and prudent lawyer struggles to answer Jesus.

One wise and prudent lawyer asked Jesus a question to trap him. "25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Since he was a lawyer in the laws of the Jews, probably he could be a Scribe as well as a Pharisee. He must have been thorough with the law. But Jesus was a carpenter, supposedly not much learned in the laws of the Jews. The lawyer probably planned to throw Jesus off balance quickly. Please remember his question; "what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" "26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?" The lawyer came to trick him and trap him; but see how easily Jesus threw him off balance and on the floor. The lawyer came with a question; but he ends up answering a question, and now Jesus was in a position to approve or reject his answer at his mercy! "27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live." Jesus approved his answer but caught him and rebuked for not obeying the law, which he knew how to obey. Jesus told him to go and obey the law to obtain eternal life. Now he is embarrassed and likes to come out of the hole. "29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?" Even though he is a lawyer, he could not come out of the hole. He said that he did not know who his neighbor was; so, how could he love a man whom he did not know. Now he is in a deeper hole. Jesus made the lawyer a flunky. His question was changed from eternal life to; "who is my neighbour?" Now Jesus told him the parable. This parable will have the answer to the question, "who is my neighbour?"

3. Priest and Levite are Church; but Samaritan saves?

A parable reveals a mystery to the disciples and the story misleads the wise and prudent. "30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead." From this sentence preachers make sermons out of every word. But I think that they are unprofitable. The fact is that a man fell into the hands of thieves, lost all things, was wounded, and was left half dead to die. He could have died if he had not taken care of. "31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side." This priest did not save him. The question of the lawyer was how he can inherit eternal life. In a way, Jesus tells him that the priests or the sacrifices in the temple, are not the answer for eternal life. "32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side." It is also the same thing. Neither Levites can give him eternal life. That is, ceremonies, ordinances, worships, rituals, or such things will not give him eternal life. "33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him." A Samaritan saved his life. We may study what is oil, wine, his beast, the inn, etc. But rather let us see who are the Samaritans? Assyrian king took captive all Jews from Samaria and filled Samaria with Assyrians. He taught the Assyrians the culture of the Jews. They worshipped the God of Jews, in order to be delivered from wild animals. They were Assyrians, who were converted to Judaism, and so, they are proselytes. Here, truthfully the deliverance came from an Assyrian proselyte, a Samaritan, and he is not a Jew. "35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee." The Samaritan not only took care of his present situation, but he took care of the things of his future also. The Samaritan has compassion on the man who was left to die. The Samaritan saved his life.

4. Jesus Christ is figuratively the Samaritan.

I missed this verse, where the Jews called Jesus Christ as Samaritan. It is: "John 8:48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?"

We know that Jesus Christ is the eternal Savior. Figuratively, now the Samaritan saved the half dead man. What is the similarities Jesus is having with the Samaritan? Even though the Samaritan is in Jewish religion, he is not one of them. "John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Jesus has created the world; but people did not know him. He came to his own people, but Jews did not accept him. So, Jesus was like a Samaritan among the Jews. So, for a figure of speech, Jesus is called a Samaritan. "Luke 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written," It is a passage from the book of Isaiah 61:1. "18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," Jesus is the one who was ordained by God, to heal the broken hearted and to bind up the bruised, etc. Here, Samaritan binds up the wounds and saves him from death; it is a picture of salvation from eternal death. So, Jesus Christ is the picture of the Samaritan.

5. Jesus compared the Lawyer to the half dead man.

A parable is like a riddle, the right answer is revealed to the followers of Jesus; and the rebellious people like the lawyer will be misled. A good clue to the answer is: find who the lawyer is among these four people: the priest, the Levite, the Samaritan, and the half dead man? "Luke 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among thieves?" Please look carefully. The lawyer asked who his neighbor was. Jesus told him the parable. The expertise of Jesus is in this; Jesus tells the lawyer that he is the half dead man, and tells him to pick up his neighbor, among the three men. Jesus makes the lawyer to answer his own question. "37 And he said, He that showed mercy on him." The lawyer came to tempt Jesus with pride. Jesus put the lawyer in the shoes of the half dead man. The lawyer, as the half dead man, picked the Samaritan as his neighbor. For spiritual reality, Jesus Christ is the Samaritan. So, the lawyer must love Jesus as his neighbor, to receive eternal life. Question of the lawyer was, "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus tells him, that if you need eternal life, you better love me. The lawyer must love Jesus Christ to receive eternal life.

6. What did the half dead man do, for us to do likewise?

Now what is the misled part of the story? "37 Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise." When the lawyer has accepted that the neighbor is the Samaritan, Jesus replied to him, go and do likewise. What kind of command is this? It is visible to all of us to see what the Samaritan has done. Some of us may be able to do such a help in such a situation. Most people who are doing what the Samaritan has done is, the ambulance and emergency services in the hospitals. They pick up such people and help them to live. But churches preach this to collect money to their projects. Proud hypocrites think that they are the Samaritans and think that they could do what the Samaritan has done. But it is a figure of speech, it is about God saving sinners from hell, and nobody can do the work of salvation except God. This is the misled part of it, and proud blind men will fall into the ditch. However, how about the command anyway? It is not to do social service. Please consider for a minute that you are the dying person left to die on the side of the street. A Samaritan saves you. Now what will you do? If I am there, my heart will melt for him with gratitude or gratefulness and love. I know he has love and compassion toward broken people. I will love the Samaritan from the bottom of my heart, and I will give myself to him. This is what Jesus tells us to do likewise. Spiritual people can see this, since they have good conscience. But flesh dominated proud Christians will jump up to show themselves as good Samaritans; without realizing that they are one among the dying men.

7. Man Jesus is our neighbor; Christ is our God in Spirit.

"John 1:14 the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," God became a man, lived as a man, and the man was Jesus. "Hebrew 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;" Man Jesus has become the author of salvation, through his death by crucifixion. As the author of salvation, he may forgive our past sins. He will forgive us if we obey him. John 14:15 says that we will obey him, if we love him. Please picture that you are left to die as a wounded person on the ditch of a roadside, and a stranger Samaritan saves your life. You will love him and will do anything for him. Man Jesus is our Good Samaritan, savior and neighbor. He wants us to love him and our brethren through him, and we will do it without fail.

Resurrected Jesus Christ is God. "Acts 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." He turns us away from our sins and saves us from future sins. We love him, and in him we love God the Father and God the Holy Ghost. The parable tells us to love our neighbor and God, and then we will have eternal life. Our neighbor is the Man Jesus who has died for us, through him we love our brethren, he became the author of salvation, we obey him, and he forgives all our past sins. Our God is Jesus Christ; God the Father and the Holy Ghost are our God in him and through him. We love them and give ourselves to them with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And so, we will inherit eternal life.

If you like to see the secondary points on this parable, please click on this link: "Secondary points from the Good Samaritan story."

Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
Please write to me in the 'Mail Box' below. I will reply promptly. Thanks.

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