Jonah acts like the priest and the Levite who pass by the the wounded man in the parable of the Good Samaritan: self-absorbed and indifferent
v. 25. Question – a test from a lawyer: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
What is eternal life? People think: forever.
But it’s more than that, eternal life is life WITH God, full and abundant.
v. 26. Where does Jesus turn for the most important answer to the most important question? To the most important book ever written, the Bible.
V. 27. Lawyer answers from the OT: “Love God w/all heart, soul, strength, mind.”
This is the shema’ from Deut 6:5.
“and your neighbor as yourself” Lev 19:18
v. 28. Correct. “Do this and you will live.”
The lawyer knows the answer, but did he live the right answer?
We know there is a massive difference between knowing right and living right.
How many times do we know we should reach out, give, say something, but don’t?
v. 29. “To justify himself….” He felt good about his answer, but not his life.
The lawyer was looking to limit the range of people he must love.
He may be thinking, who deserves my love?
vv. 29-35 Themes in the parable:
- The brokenness and sinfulness of the world (30)
- The emptiness of religion without love (31-32)
- Racism and prejudice in society (33)
- Real love in sacrifice and risk (34-35)
v. 30. The brokenness and sinfulness of the world
The man was robbed, stripped, beaten, and left half-dead.
vv. 31-32. The emptiness of religion without love
A priest and Levite came down the same road, they serve at the temple.
We would expect that these pious men would help.
But they pass by the man on the other side. They AVOID the wounded man.
How cold, to avoid a man so desperate for help.
v. 33. Racism and prejudice in society
A Samaritan – considered enemies of Jews, of mixed race, mixed religion.
Jesus’ use of the Samaritan as the good guy in the story is shocking.
The Samaritan reflects the lengths to which love for neighbor will go.
He treats the injured Jewish man not as an enemy, but as a neighbor, as his own.
Real love in sacrifice and risk. The Good Samaritan
- Saw the brokenness of the injured man (33)
- Came to him in compassion (33)
- Demonstrated love by binding his wounds (34)
- Carried him to safety (34)
- Paid the price for his care (35)
Jesus defines neighbor as anyone of any race or religion who is in need.
Jesus is the One Who is fully “other” from us.
• In him the fullness of God dwells. (Col 2:9)
• He is the image of the invisible God. (Col 1:15)
Jesus Christ is the greater neighbor who
- Sees our brokenness in sin
- Comes to us in compassion
- Demonstrates God’s love for us by giving his life
- Pays the price for our salvation
- Reconciles us to God & each other, bringing an end to racism
- Is coming again to receive us into eternal life
v. 36. Which of these proved to be a neighbor? The one who showed mercy.
“You go, and do likewise.”