Who Is It That a Christian Must Love as Themselves?
DATE: July 17, 2005 AM PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
I. Introduction (Luke 6:31; Philp 2:4)
A. In man’s history, there is little to show for all the wars, the fighting, the battles, the generals, and the armie.
B. But there is a lot to show for all the compassion that we relate directly to the lesson of the story about the Good Samaritan!
C. That imperfect man that we know today simply as the Good Samaritan, completely changed our world’s view of “others”
1. No longer a dog-eat-dog world – skip over the people
a. Marie Antoinette – supposedly spoke these words, “Let them eat cake” upon hearing how the peasantry had no bread to eat!
b. Empires where built and conquered on the backs of the slaves, and the unwanted
2. Instead, people in the western world have a slight conscience because of this story – if a person goes out of their way to help you with something it is because of this story and its implications!
D. The issue is settled, once and for all, Just WHO is my neighbour that I must love and honour and do things for, like I would want him to do for ME?
E. Preaching Sequence this month
1. The Importance of Grace for Others
2. The Joy of Others (Mt 8:1-3)
3. Who is My Other? (Luke 10)
4. The Cost of Others (Mk 15:31) – Next Week
5. Living Beyond Others (Col 3:23,24) – Final Week of this month
F. Let’s review – Who Are My ‘Others’? We will answer this question more deeply in a moment, but generally, they are in five regions of life
1. There are five kinds of “others” in every person’s life – people that are outside of our lives
b. My Family – both close, AND extended
c. My Neighbours
d. My Enemies
e. Regions Beyond - Missions
2. These are the five OTHERS that each of us have to deal with on a daily basis, and God tells us how we must correctly deal with them in the Bible
G. Sadly, Philp 2:4 seems to be one Christian trait that is lacking among God's people today. The world has convinced us that we should live "every man for himself," but God's precept is "let each esteem other better than themselves."
H. It is about time that someone stood up in our selfish, self-cantered day and called the world back to kindness and consideration of others. It's about time that we were reminded that the church is no place for those who project their own self-centered agenda. Rather, it is a community of believers who have embraced, and willingly submitted themselves to, the Two Great commandments: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Mt 22:36-40).
I. In a world that is becoming increasingly inconsiderate and rude, there is a need for an army of believers to embrace this biblical teaching and move throughout the community, demonstrating the love of God for others.
A. The Lawyer (Lk 10:25)
1. You know what a lawyer is don’t you? WHAT IS A LAWYER?
a. Lawyers are people who write a 10,000 word document and call it a brief.
b. What do you get when you cross a librarian with a lawyer? All the information you need - - but you can't understand a word of it.
c. What do you get when you cross a Godfather with a lawyer? “An offer you can't understand.”
d. A small town that can't support one lawyer, can always support two.
e. How does a pregnant woman know she is carrying a future lawyer? She has an extreme craving for baloney.
f. What do you call a lawyer gone bad? A Good Lawyer!.
2. Ok, so what was a lawyer back then? Someone who studied the Laws of God so that judges could make good decisions in courts
3. He had a Good Question - This lawyer asks a good question – vital question – needs to be on everyone’s lips today as well
4. He had a Wrong Motive - he is insincere - he attempted to trap Christ in His words – almost a daily occurrence with Christ
5. He had a Wrong Concept – inheriting eternal life
a. Questioned "what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
b. The Jews inherited a good position with God by birth
c. They were “the people of God” by inheritance from Abraham
d. So they wanted to get eternal life also by inheritance – did not understand the need for a SECOND BIRTH
e. Now remember, this is a LAWYER – loves debate, and arguing small points of ambiguity
6. He had a Wrong Goal - intended to show that Jesus cannot stand up to intense scrutiny
7. Yet Jesus went ahead and answered this man
B. The Law (Lk 10:25-28)
1. The Right Appeal
a. Without batting an eye, Jesus immediately refers to an absolute authority – the Law – that portion of the Bible consisting of Genesis – Deuteronomy. It is called the Law hundreds of time for a reason
b. Jesus appeals to the written authority – whether debating with the devil, or with a lawyer He always turns to the Bible!
c. Jesus knew how to talk to all people. What is it that lawyers are suppose to know the most? The law. So Jesus, being the great Advocate (defence lawyer), put this religious lawyer on trial by asking HIM, “How do you read the law of God?” “What do you read in it about eternal life?”
2. The Lawyer’s Answer - The lawyer gave the right answers – oh he knows his stuff (compare Dt 6:4-7; Lev 19:18).
a. Love God supremely – with everything there is about you
b. Love your neighbour as yourself – what a high challenge
c. That’s the law of God! Not complex at all!
1) The first four commandments deal with honouring God supremely and keeping God first
2) The last six commandments are about honouring others
3) And that is it!
4) On those two great concepts ALL the laws rest!
3. The Lord’s Approval
a. At this point, Jesus congratulated the lawyer for giving the right answers.
b. Notice the order of the law: God first, then your neighbour. The world today has completely overlooked and rejected the God of the Bible, and so are killing every neighbour they can!
c. But if we love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, then we will love our neighbour as we should. With this kind of obedience and love for God, then we will have our eyes and ears open to Him and know that we need His Son, Jesus Christ.
C. The Loophole (Lk 10:29)
1. The lawyer realized that Jesus had scored a point against him because Jesus concluded, "...this do, and thou shalt live." v.28.
2. He KNEW that he had never done either of those commandments
3. The lawyer had to redeem himself in front of his peers, so he tried to trap Jesus with another question. Most lawyers are not concerned with the truth. In most cases they are worried about winning their case.
4. Notice in verse 29, "But he, willing to justify himself, …”
5. Could not have asked, “Who is God?” (Jn 4:21,22)
6. Had to focus on the debatable point – How could someone prove who your neighbour is?
7. So, ignoring the simplicity of Jesus’ answer, the lawyer strains at the concept of “… who is my neighbour?"
8. So Jesus answers back with a true-to-life story in verses 30-35. Jesus is ALWAYS practical
9. Principle: With God, there are NO loopholes!
D. The Lesson (Lk 10:30-35)
1. There are three people in the story Jesus tells:
a. An Unsuspecting Traveller
b. Two Members of the Uncaring Elite
c. And an Unusual Friend
2. These three groups of people help define just WHO is our neighbour, and just WHAT we are to do in order to be neighbourly
3. The Unsuspecting Traveller (Lk 10:30)
a. Here was a Jew – in the eyes of the audience, this man was a good guy, one of them, someone they could easily relate to, and be a friend to if they ever met him on the road
b. He was robbed – mugged. A terrible, and many times deadly experience where he was physically assaulted and left half-dead in the road
4. The Uncaring Elite (Lk 10:31-32)
a. First to come upon the scene is a Priest- v.31
1) Here is a dedicated servant of God
2) A devout religious man who was supposed to care about people’s “infirmities” (Heb 5:1-3)
3) Yet this “priest” purposely ignored this man in the road
4) Oh I am SURE he had concern for the man
5) But he had no compassion
6) Could not be BOTHERED with stopping and helping him
7) Priests are VERY busy people you know… Very important people too – surely someone else, more able to help the man, would stop
b. Next down the road comes a Levite- v.32
1) A Levite was a religious teacher – someone who weekly taught the people all about God, and about His laws and His expectations
2) And here was a chance for this Levite to live-out all the things he taught others to do
3) And yet he didn’t! He did not minister to this wounded man that he can plainly see is hurt bad, and in need of medical attention
a) The first guy, the priest, just “saw” the wounded man
b) This Levite looked closely at the situation, but stayed on the far side of the road… just in case he was contagious
4) So, he passed on by without helping, without stopping to find out if he was even ok – not a word
5) Oh I am certain his heart tugged at him, and that he worried about how the man would fare
6) BUT… still, he did not stop at all!
c. That’s the uncaring elite – oh they are still quite alive and well
1) Important people
2) Religious people – not talking about pagans and atheists here
3) Busy people – modern busy-ness – things to do
4) Everything except neighbourly people – to them, this man, and any man or woman that takes their effort and time is NOT an “other” to be concerned with!
5) You would expect that people with power, and with money would care for others who don’t have power or money – not!
d. Thank God for the effect of this story that Jesus had taught, because of IT, the western world is amazingly more compassionate than much of the rest of the world… SERIOUSLY!
e. Never underestimate the power of the Gospel on a culture!
5. The Unusual Friend – the Samaritan (Lk 10:33-35)
a. The Jews did not care for Samaritans
1) The Samaritans were half-breeds (half Jew, half Gentiles)
2) They were doctrinally not correct in their religious beliefs
3) They had many cultural and family problems
4) So they were ignored and not treated as humans even by the Jews of Jesus’ day
5) In Jesus’ day, people would walk an additional 30 miles around Samaria in order to get to Galilee so they would not have to be around the Samaritans
b. Yet, this Samaritan cared for a dying Jew – for a Samaritan hater
1) Here is a busy man like the others… he was on a journey – not just taking a holiday or a leisurely stroll
2) But a man who lowered his eyes to the level of the man on the road – did not act like he couldn’t see the man
3) So he came right up to the injured man – didn’t change course
4) And notice – “he had compassion on him” – oh how compassion will change your life!
a) You can’t change your life in order to have compassion
b) God changes your heart enables you to have compassion, and once you start having compassion, your life changes – full stop!
5) So he acts! Here is the work of the Samaritan
a) Goes to the man – no matter how low, or how far away
b) Binds up the wounds – finds out where the hurt is; stops the bleeding, makes the injuries protected so they can heal
c) Then pours in two great medicines
(i) Oil – for the cracked skin in that hot desert sun
(ii) Wine – as a disinfectant because of the alcohol content. Everyone had “a little wine” not for drinking, but for medicine! Only drunks DRANK wine! Christians use medicines for the betterment of people, NOT the numbing of the senses of people or for a good time!
d) Carries the man on his own beast – probably a mule – the man could go nowhere on his own
e) Brought him to a place of safety – an inn (remember Mary and Joseph tried to get into an inn in Bethlehem, but were turned away)
f) Actually took the time to take care of the man – lost valuable time
g) And then to top it all off… this Samaritan took money out of his own pocket and made sure that the expenses of the man for two days were taken care of, and that if there were more expenses, that the Samaritan would pass by again in two days and pay off any additional costs
6) All I can say is Wow, what a lesson! Jesus conquered all the misconceptions about who our others are especially our enemies!
E. The Leap of Faith (Lk 10:36,37) Go and do likewise! Live that same way!
1. This man, like everyone else has to make a step, a leap of faith from head knowledge, to living experience
2. Beliefs in the head save no one – only beliefs that are allowed to sink down deep into your heart far enough down to come out through your fingers and toes, are beliefs that save a soul, and change a world!
3. The principle is this – it was the SAMARITAN that so easily lived out the truth that all people you meet are your neighbour – are the ones you must show kindness to, minister to
4. Why don’t we do that? Busy-ness; Haughtiness; Numbness; Blindness
5. What made the Samaritan different? Compassion
a. Brokenness – years of being ignored and hurt didn’t make him hard
b. Awareness – saw not a Samaritan hater, but an injured man who needed help
c. Yielded-ness – was willing to take care of any situation that came across his path
6. Now comes the question back to the lawyer…
a. “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” Which fulfilled the Law of God???
b. He couldn’t escape the facts
c. There were no more questions; no more points to argue
d. Whew! Slam-dunk!!! The dreaded Samaritan was better than the Jew!
A. The principles of “Others”
1. “Others” are those we come in contact with – within our realm of life
2. Doesn’t matter what their needs are
3. Doesn’t matter if they are friends, family or fiends
4. Doesn’t matter if we are very important or not
5. All that matters is that we care – as Jesus did
6. And that we act – that we do what is necessary FOR THEM
B. The Works of the Christian for Others – Do What Jesus Did
1. Go to people – no matter how low, or how far away
a. Don’t’ want on them to come HERE
b. Whoever you run into, minister!
2. Bind up the wounds – don’t make them worse! Find out where the hurt is; stop the bleeding, make the injuries protected so they can heal
3. Then pour in two great medicines:
a. Oil – a picture of what the Holy Spirit is – through prayer
b. Wine – a picture of a cleansing agent – administer the blood of Jesus Christ – not literally, or transubstantially, but in truth – through preaching (what Jesus did for them on the cross)
4. Carry people – unsaved people can go nowhere on their own
5. Bring them to a place of safety – an inn – like a church, or a hospital
6. Take the time to take care of people – you will lose valuable time
7. Take money out of your own pocket and make sure that the expenses of others are briefly taken care of.
C. How to Be Good Samaritans
1. Care about the lives of everyone around you – not just those like you
2. Don’t mind the way others treat you – treat all others well!
3. Sacrifice your things for other’s needs
4. Use the meeting of physical needs to enable you to help with meeting spiritual needs
5. The proof that we love God will be shown in our ability to love and care for others!
D. The Fruits of Others
1. Saves souls from hell
2. Saves communities from themselves
3. Saves lives from the ways of the world
E. Are you saved this morning? Born again? Do you have eternal life?
1. If you want to be perfect, then practice those two commandments, perfectly!
2. If you realize that you can’t, then you will need a Saviour – the only Person who ever DID obey and live out those two commandments – Jesus
F. Hey Christian! Are you hard-hearted? Self-centred? Be humiliated by realizing Samaritans have a better understanding of the laws of God and the expectations of God, that God’s people often do!