Luke- Week 14- Day 4
(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.(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.Luke 10:33-35
(33) But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
Samaritans were seen as half-breeds. They were part Jewish and part gentile. They were hated by the Jews. In the context of this story, they would have not been “neighbors” according to the Jewish definition.
When the priest and Levite saw the man, they moved on. When the Samaritan saw the man “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.
He went to him. The Priest and the Levite went on the other side. The Samaritan went to him.
- “bound up”
- “took care”
The man took the time to help the man’s physical body. The compassion that he had for the man he did not know cost him energy. It cost him time.
It also cost him financially.
(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.
I read that archeologist had found a sign from an inn in the same period that mentioned 1/32 of a denarion, the word translated “pence” here. Some have then estimated that this was about two months of rent.
The Samaritan was also somewhat setting himself up for a further cost. He was open to being taken advantage of by the inn keeper. “Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more…I will repay.”
Remember the context of the story. There were two questions asked of Jesus by the lawyer.
Question #1- What must I do to inherit eternal life? Answer: Perfectly love God and your neighbor.
The response to that should have been, “I haven’t done that, so I can’t. How to I receive eternal life? How can I be forgiven? This is not the response. The response is a second question given with the intention of justifying the lawyer.
Question #2- Who is my neighbor? Answer: Literally anyone you have access to in your life.
God’s expectation is that you love everyone like this man loved the Samaritan. This story is intended as devastating news to shatter this man’s self-righteousness. The Priest and the Levite are so self-deceived that they have rationalized not loving their neighbor, even though they know what the scripture requires.
The scripture already taught them to prioritize love of people over the ceremonial.
(6) Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? (7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (8) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?Micah 6:6-8
The lawyer thought that His love for God was adequate. The lawyer thought that He was not required to love those who he deemed as unworthy of his love. The lawyer thought that He did not need forgiveness. The lawyer certainly did not see Jesus as the person to whom He should go for forgiveness. Jesus is trying to help the man see the utter lostness of his condition and He cannot see it.
The point of this passage is not to promote simple do-goodedness. The point of this passage is not to just help us identify who are neighbor is.
The point of this passage is to help us to understand that we do not love the way God requires, and that for us to do that with every one of our neighbors God must do it in us and through us.
Who loves everyone like the Samaritan loved this man? Only Jesus. We need forgiveness and God’s Spirit in us to help us to begin to love this way.
- Who can you show unmerited love to today?