Tell a Bible Story (part 3) - The Good Samaritan

September 24, 2023
Tell a Bible Story (part 3) - The Good Samaritan

Children’s Story:  The Good Samaritan

One day, Jesus was having a conversation with the people about the law of God

Jesus asked the people what the law of God says and a man answered:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Jesus said that he got the right answer and told him to go and do it

But the man wanted to know:  “And who is my neighbor?

Then Jesus answered him with this story:

One day there was a man that was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho - this was a treacherous road that was known for robbers - and it happened:  he was attacked by robbers!

They took off his clothes and beat him up and left him for dead - the poor man laid there in the middle of the road, naked and barely alive

Then a priest (like a minister/reverend) came by the same way and when he saw the man, he looked away and walked around the poor man

A Levite (like an elder) also came the same way and did exactly the same

Then a Samaritan (like an immigrant or a stranger) came by - when the Samaritan saw this man something turned in his stomach and he felt sorry for the poor man

He immediately went to the man an helped him to get his wounds bandaged and disinfected the wounds with oil and wine

He gave the poor man a ride on his donkey and took him to a hotel

He paid for the stay and asked the hotel keeper to look after this man until he returned - he promised to pay the bill

So Jesus asked the people:  Who do you think was the neighbour of the poor man?

The man that asked the question about the law answered:  “The one who had mercy on him.” (He was reluctant to admit that it was the Samaritan)

Jesus said to him:  Now you go and do the same

Scripture Reading: Luke 10: 25 - 37 (NIV)

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Message:  Tell a Bible Story Part 3 - The Good Samaritan

Back to the question

The story of the Good Samaritan did not physically take place - it is a parable

Jesus told parables to bring a point across 

With this parable it is tricky 

The point Jesus wants to make is not about what needs to be done, but rather who is doing it - not the what but the who

Just consider the leading question by the scholar:  “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10: 24)

As if to ask if there is exceptions to this law of loving your neighbour…

And Jesus then flips it around by not telling a story about one man needing help, but about three different people being coming before the choice to help or not…

That is a choice we all stumble upon… “should I help or not?”

Story about the story

This brings me to a story this parable

One day a seminary professor had a sermon on how fear influences the decisions we make - he decided to tell the story of the Good Samaritan to his students…

Like teenagers, the students rolled their eyes, because they have heard this story so many times before… what new angle could possibly be given?

After reading the story the professor said:  “This is not a story about being nice. This is a story about the transformation of the world.”

In an instant he got the attention of the students

The professor went on to explain that there were three types of people on that road between Jerusalem and Jericho

The first type is the robbers - “I will take from you whatever I want and do what I have to do to get it from you” These are the type of people who doesn’t mind leaving a man on the road for dead… we have those around us - people who take from others without a conscience 

Then there is the second type of person on this road - the priest and levite - the ones who are out on the dangerous road but wants to protect what they have not matter what… “What is mine is mine and I will protect what I have at all cost” This type of person has respect, they follow the social rules, they sit on boards making decisions, they even love their communities and occupy positions that is important for the community, and they are focussed on what they are doing

Without them realizing they do more harm than good - they are so bent on preserving their reputations that there is not place of relationships, they are scared to do something that would disrupt what they are doing (remember they were on the road to Jericho to go and their priest and Levite work)

And then the professor confessed:  “Unfortunately, this is the category where I fall most often throughout my life. And if we’re all being honest, I’d say it’s the category that most of us fall into more than we care to admit.” 

And then there’s the Samaritan - he is not acting out of greed or fear, he’s actions are motivated by love… On this dangerous road he is the one who says:  “what is mine is yours…if you have need of it” 

My safety is yours…if you have need of it

My security is yours…if you have need of it

My resources are yours…if you have need of them

My health is tied to your health

My well-being is tied to your well-being

Rev Martin Luther King jr said about this story:  “The difference between the priest and Levite, and the Samaritan is that the priest and Levite asked themselves ‘if I stop and help this man, what will happen to me?’, while the Samaritan asked ‘if I don’t stop and help this man, what will happen to him?’”

Fear of what is happening to us makes us behave badly, it makes us go the other way… Fear makes us mind our own business… fear makes us do things the way we have always done it… our fear is an all too convenient excuse for not responding to needs before us… fear ultimately prevents love… doing what real religion is all about

Life is a dangerous road between Jerusalem and Jericho - we have to decide how we are going to approach this dangerous road before us… some will choose to see what they can get out of this road, no matter what… some will walk with fear intent on protecting what they have… and some will walk this dangerous road with love, willing to do what needs to be done whatever situation arises

The professor ended with this:  “This is the choice of the story:  In life, will you take, will you fear or will you love?”

Identifying with characters and their behavior

The power of story is to identify - identify with characters, but ever more so identify with their behaviours

Because I truly believe in this story, all of us are represented and our behaviours are represented

There are takers among us - the robbers - just out to see what they can get out of life

There are also the preservers among us - too scared to do anything that might disturb the good life they built

Jesus is telling us to identify with love as the behaviour of life - ready to do what needs to be done make a difference 

Responding to emotions

To let love be the underlying motivation for your journey through life, you need to be in touch with your emotions

You will not be able to love if there is a disconnect between head and heart 

In Luke 10 verse 33 it is written that the Samaritan “took pity” on the man on the road

The Greek word here is “Splagnitzo” - directly translated this word means “moved with compassion”… Greek scholars say that this word is describing the turn of your stomach feeling…

That is what love on a dangerous road looks like!

That is what it means to love your neighbour - deeply connected, from the bottom of your heart!

Do you get it?

… now go and do it! 


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