THE GOOD SAMARITAN (Luke 10:25-37).
“Behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying,
‘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?"
So he answered and said," "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 neighbour as yourself." And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live"But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus,
"And who is my neighbour?" Then Jesus answered and said:
"A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.'
So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?" And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
This Parable works on 3 levels.
1. The most obvious message is what it means to love your good neighbour -practical, meeting of needs.
2. Yet reading the context it is clear Jesus is doing this to burst his self-righteous bubble. He sets a high standard by describing the self-giving nature of love and by defining neighbour as all people you meet in life, including those you have been brought up to dislike, who are not your crowd (not just your friends). By showing the true nature of God’s requirements Jesus brought the man into conviction of his sinfulness.
3. Although the man’s question showed his desire to establish his own righteousness before God, he was asking how to get to heaven, and Jesus would not leave him in the lurch. Having shot down his false hope, he must show him the true way. And he does that in this story. It contains the gospel in code-how to be saved. Such is the Master-Teacher!
On the surface this parable is a masterpiece that proves that when God commands us to love our neighbour that means everyone we meet on the journey of life (v29,36,37).
The first impact this Parable had on the man trying to save (justify) himself by his works was to convict him of his sin (racial prejudice against Samaritans). However, the Church Fathers saw that it also contained a wonderful picture of salvation. Thus Jesus also answered the man’s original question of ‘how can I have eternal life?’ (v25) through this Parable.
We will interpret this Parable allegorically (giving each detail a spiritual meaning). This is unfashionable, because of an overreaction to wild allegorical interpretations in Church History, So the modern interpretation of Parables just extracts the main lesson of the story and considers the details as irrelevant.
But in support of ALLEGORY we note:
(1) Parables reveal hidden mysteries (Matthew 13:34,35)
(2) Jesus interpreted the Parable of the Sower allegorically and said that this was the key to understanding all the parables (Mark 4:11-13)
(3) It works! - The details work together to give such a wonderful picture of salvation that it can’t just be by coincidence.
1. Who ultimately does the GOOD SAMARITAN represent?
Who fulfils the picture of the GOOD NEIGHBOUR who sacrificially loves and shows mercy to even his enemies?
There’s but ONE who fulfils the Parable
- JESUS is our GOOD SAMARITAN.
2. We are the man left for dead.
Our only hope is to be saved by the Good Samaritan.
3. MAN’S FALL AND IT’S CONSEQUENCES (v30)
“A certain man, went down from Jerusalem to Jericho”.
This man represents all of us in Adam. This was a dangerous 20 mile, 2-day journey in barren wilderness called ‘the red and bloody way’. It was a perfect hunting ground for thieves, with sudden turns and cliffs, making it easy to hide and suddenly attack a traveller. It was crooked and downhill all the way, descending from 2300 feet above sea level to 1300 below. It was foolish of him to go alone - it was his fault he was robbed. This is a perfect picture of the road the man took when he went away from God in sin. He was created to dwell in Jerusalem, the city of peace, the city of the Great King where God rules and where His Presence is, where man had peace and fellowship with God under His authority. But man sinned and fell from his position in God’s kingdom. Foolishly we walked away from God down the road from the heavenly Jerusalem into a dangerous wilderness. Thus man’s history is all blood and death. “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). We were heading for certain eternal death.
Our destination is pictured by Jericho, the oldest and lowest city on earth by the Dead sea, a place of judgement. It represents the world- system under satan's power and kingdom. Though it seems to be an oasis, full of religion, it’s under a curse and doomed to eternal judgement. All it’s walls will fall down when JOSHUA (= JESUS) returns.
“He fell among thieves”. Man put himself outside God’s protection, where satan could steal God’s blessings from him (John 10:10). He took advantage of our situation.
We came under the curse which included: poverty and shame:- “they stripped him of his clothes”,
sickness - “they wounded him”,
loneliness and emptiness:- “they departed”
and death:- “leaving him half - dead”
God said to Adam: “in the day you eat it, you shall surely die
(dying you shall die)” (Genesis 2:17). There are 2 deaths - man’s spirit died at once and his body started to die. This man is half-dead. This is the picture of all men without Christ.
4. THE FAILURE IF THE LAW AND RELIGION AND RITUAL TO SAVE (v 31, 32). The priest and levite represent the Law and ritualistic Religion. They passed by on the other side. The works of the Law can’t save us, the Law just pronounces us dead. They didn’t want to get unclean or risk their own life. However, Jesus did lay down His life, He was willing to get in the dirt and touch us to save us, to be ‘unclean’, for He took our sin on Himself.
5. CHRIST’S COMING (v33)
“A certain Samaritan”. The twist of the story was that Samaritan were hated and were enemies of the Jews (v37). This is Jesus - “despised and rejected of men.” We were enemies of God.
“As He journeyed.” Unlike the others who saw him ‘by chance’,
he was looking for anyone he could save. He was on a mission. Jesus came on a journey from Jerusalem: ‘to seek and save the lost.’
“He came to where he was.” We couldn’t come to God, or save ourselves, we were dying with no power to move. Thank God, when we had no power to come to Him, God in Jesus, came to us, he reached down to us and found us. Just like the Good Shepherd (Luke 15:4,8), who went after the lost sheep, until he found him and carried him on his shoulders, rejoicing (a picture of God rejoicing over sinners who repent).
“When he saw him he had compassion on him.” He didn’t withdraw because of his uncleanness and sin, thinking like others - ‘he deserved it’. Jesus saw us lying in sin and sickness, helpless, on the point of death and was moved with compassion. “When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, for they fainted and were scattered, as sheep with no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Compassion is deep love moving you to action to reach out and meet a need. He risked his life, got down in the ditch with him to save him. The compassion of Jesus caused him to die for us: “God shows his love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners (enemies), Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).
6. SALVATION (v34).
“He went to him.” On the Cross Jesus entered into our state, bore our sins and identified with us in our pain.
“and bound up his wounds.” HEALING is in the Atonement.
“Himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
that we being dead to sins, should live to righteousness:
by whose stripes you were healed” (1Peter 2:24,25).
“Pouring in OIL and WINE.”
This speaks of the 2 key ministries of the Holy-Spirit.
OIL = The NEW BIRTH.
WINE = The BAPTISM and FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT.
Bothare impartations of the new and abundant LIFE of God. Jesus POURED OUT His Spirit at Pentecost and pours Him into us when we ask and receive Him.
*The Samaritan would also have clothed him as Jesus clothed us in His RIGHTEOUSNESS.
“He set him on his own beast (property).” He lifted us out of the Kingdom of Darkness (the dirt) and translated into his Kingdom (property), seating us in safety in heavenly places! He came down from his exalted place on the cross (humiliation) in order to lift us up (exaltation) from the pit and the mud and dust of death.
The message to the lawyer was to show that all men (even Samaritans) were his neighbours. He even had to admit it out of his own mouth (v37). So Jesus exposed his sin and showed him that his obvious intention to earn salvation (eternal life) by his works (v25-29) was doomed to fail, because he fell short of what was required (v27,28,37). He wanted to know how to receive LIFE from God. So Jesus would have answered this question. First he had to prove to him that he could not save himself (works). Then in parable he showed the other way (grace). There is a man saved in this story, who receive LIFE, a new start. We must realise we are the man, helpless, and dying. We must see ourselves hopeless, without strength, and that religion, law and works can’t save us.
Only Jesus, our Good Samaritan can save the one rejected, crucified, and risen again who pours out the oil and wine into our hurting souls. All the man had to do was receive the ministry of the Good Samaritan! He did not earn it. He was saved by GRACE. He just received (he could have said ‘leave me alone’, out of foolish hatred of the Samaritan).
7. CHURCH: “He brought him to an Inn.”
There is an inn halfway. This is the church - a place of protection, peace, and safety from robbers; fellowship with fellow travellers, a place of good and drink, where you can regain strength, be restored and help others who have been rescued by the Good Samaritan. Once saved we’re not to travel alone to be robbed again as an easy target for the thief. We're not meant to live the Christian life alone, but travel together, “and took care of him”. Jesus instituted the church as the place he takes care of us. He’s out looking for more lost sheep (including Christians who don’t have a church) to bring them under the shelter of a Church.
8. The Present DISPENSATION OF THE SPIRIT (v35).
“On the morrow when he departed he took out 2 denarii
and gave them to the innkeeper and said “take care of him and whatever you spend over that, I will repay when I come again.”
Jesus went to the Heavenly Jerusalem. He didn’t leave us alone, but entrusted us to the care of the The Innkeeper = The Holy Spirit (John 14:16). They knew each other well. Every blessing was paid for by our Good Samaritan on the cross and now we’re invited to eat at his table (Psalm 23). We just reach out and receive, freely eating and drinking what’s been provided for us as a gift (Isaiah 55). Our Innkeeper is commissioned to give us all we need, so much so that even if we have any special extra needs these two are covered. He will keep filling our cup with new wine (life) if we ask him. It’s up to us how much we want. Jesus paid the price for the Spirit to give is every blessing. 2 denarii was the ransom price for a man, and also 2-days wages. The payment was for him to be treated like he was the only one. Thus the Samaritan would return after 2-days (it was a 2-day journey to Jerusalem and back).
This speaks of Jesus going to the Heavenly Jerusalem for 2000 years. 1 DAY = 1000 years. (2 Peter 3:8, Hosea 5:15-6:3). He will come again and take us back to Jerusalem with him. (John 14:1-3).
OIL and WINE - The 2-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit.
(1) OIL is the Spirit in the New Birth. Psalm 133 shows us that when we are added to the Body of Christ we are all anointed with oil (the Spirit). ‘Gethsemene’ means ‘oil press’ Jesus who contained the Oil of Life allowed himself to be crushed so that the oil poured out of him, and when we receive him, he pours oil into us and we’re reborn. “Neither do men put new wine into old wineskins else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into renewed wineskins, and both are preserved” (Matthew 9:17). The wineskins are our spirits, designed to contain and pour out the wine of God for others. But the Fall means they become old and can’t hold God’s life. They are renewed by rubbing them in oil (the new birth), then they can hold the new wine (the fullness of the Spirit).
(2) WINE = The Baptism and Fullness of Spirit: “You anoint my head with OIL, my cup (WINE) runs over” (Psalm 23:5). God’s blessings are: “WINE that makes glad the heart of man, and OIL to make his face to shine and bread to strengthen men’s heart” (Psalm 104:15). Prophesying the Day of Pentecost Joel said “the vats (of heaven) will overflow with WINE and OIL and it shall come to pass afterward, that I will POUR OUT MY SPIRIT on all flesh” (2:24,28). The Spirit is for all.
Jesus poured out the Oil and Wine on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
The fire in v3 showed that the disciples were now lamps filled with OIL and set alight (see Matthew 25). The WINE is in v4. When accused of being ‘full of NEW WINE’ Peter didn’t deny it, but said they were ‘not drunk, as you suppose’ (v1-16). God wants to fill us with his Spirit now. “Be not DRUNK with WINE, wherein is excess; but be (being) FILLED with the SPIRIT speaking...” (Ephesians 5:18-20). Again, being filled with the Spirit is compared to drinking wine, except there’s nothing wrong in DRINKING in the Spirit to EXCESS. As you get filled and start to overflow in praises, joy, and tongues. Rivers of life flow out to others (John 7:37-39). As it flows out you need to drink in more to stay filled. Let the Spirit keep filling your cup so that it overflows.
The OIL is given ONCE, but the WINE continually, now we
must DRINK. Our renewed wineskins can handle God’s Wine.
The man in the story received the outpoured wine when he was saved, but also he could drink as much as he wanted in the Inn,
as the Innkeeper kept filling his cup as often as he requested.