Sunday, 10 July 2016

Good Samaritan Redux

Sermon Notes – Trinity 7 – Sunday 10 July 2016 at Great Brickhill

Gospel Luke 10

The parable of the good Samaritan

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

26 ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’

27 He 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 neighbour as yourself.”’

28 ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’

30 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. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.34 He 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. 35 The 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 neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’

37 The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’

Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’



Good Samaritan — Luke 10

What more can be said? You all know it backwards.

Next week Little Brickhill — Baptism

· Brought up-to-date

o Lawyer/Judge — hurry — might have to try the case — probably dead anyway — no time to get involved with police

o Bishop — big service on TV at cathedral — vestments tainted blood

o Doctor — insurance would not cover intervention — did not have equipment — liability insurance

o Shady second hand car dealer — did not want white leather seats in SUV get dirty

o Illegal immigrant wanted by Border Agency? Escaped convict from local prison? Name your own…

· Love others, even those we hate? — is that all there is to it? What should children learn from it?


· Who is Jesus? Who do characters represent?

· Why told to a lawyer? Why his question? Seems obvious answer.

· What is it teaching — message?

o Treat everyone as you would have them treat you?

o Don’t judge book by cover?

o Expect the unexpected in others

o People expected to help often fail — others who do pitch in are often the most unexpected


· Behind his question, lawyer asking about Justification — follow the Law not enough

o “Who is my neighbor?” he asks

o Jesus responds with Good Samaritan story

· Virtue of Philanthropy practiced in ancient world — expected as part of Law

o Lawyer and audience would have been surprised no recognized official would help

o also surprised aid given by Samaritan

· EsplagnistheJesus had compassion

o Occurs 3 times in Luke

§ Father of Prodigal son

§ Jesus and the widow’s son who had died[i]

§ Good Samaritan who took pity on the hurt man before giving first aid

o First two — God
Why not Good Samaritan stand for God or God’s agent?

· Compassion belongs to God

o We must emulate it

o Lawyer could not even pronounce name of Samaritan 37 The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’

o Shows how far the Lawyer was from showing compassion and acting it out in his dealings with others

Example Story

· Jesus says ‘Go and do likewise’

o But is this just an example for us to follow?

o Yes — but not only

· Primary focus not man in ditch

o If Samaritan stands for God, Samaritan must be at centre of parable

o Lawyer is admonishedGo and do likewise means he has not been showing compassion — Lawyer is told to emulate Good Samaritan — we don’t have his reply

Profound implications

· Jesus identifies with Samaritans

o James and John had just offered to call down consuming fire from heaven on them

o Have we heard such violence and antipathy towards people not like us on other people’s lips — or even perhaps our own?

· Image of Samaritan as a Christ figure changes whole interpretation of the parable

o Parables have different interpretations based on hearer, age, stage in life, state of mind etc.

o What does Good Samaritan now say to you?

Having worked that through, ‘Go and do thou likewise.’ Amen

[i] Luke 7:13 Jesus raises the widow’s son

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