How do I want to be treated? I need patience if my kids melt down in the grocery store. I need kindness if I’m trying to cross three lanes of traffic to catch my exit. I want rescue if my car breaks down. I’m desperate for someone to jump in the water if I feel like I might drown. No matter what the situation, I need people to care for me in ways that might be costly. I need people to get involved.
- Think of a time when someone treated you with great kindness or generosity. What was it like for you, and what did it cost your friend?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 10:25-37 (ESV)
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What does this passage say about how we are to love God (vs. 27)? How should we love our neighbor (vs. 27)?
- The lawyer showed that he knew and understood this command. Why do you think he pressed Jesus on defining who was his neighbor?
- Who are the three people that saw the man that was left for dead by the robbers? How did each respond to this sighting?
- The Samaritan, whom the Jews considered to be beneath them, not only offered help, but also personally sacrificed for the man’s welfare. What were the ways he helped the man?
- How do you respond to the needs of people you encounter day-by-day? In what ways have you “passed by on the other side” to avoid getting involved? What are some practical ways you can live and act like the Samaritan?
RESPOND TO GOD
The priest and the Levite avoided getting involved with this half-dead man. Perhaps there was concern for their religious purity, as blood would make them unfit to perform temple duties. Or maybe they just didn’t want to help, thinking it too costly, too time consuming, or just plain inconvenient. The hero, a Samaritan, not only got involved but cared for the injured man the way that he would hope to be cared for. His compassion was costly, merciful, and loving. As believers in Christ, we should be and do likewise.
- Pray about where God may be calling you to get involved. Ask God for courage to move out of your comfort zone or to sacrifice in some new way.
- Confess the obstacles that prevent you from treating others as you would have them treat you.