Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
Faithfulness – A Key Step to Happiness
Oct 28 2012: “Looking for a Loophole!”
Sun AM Worship I know who I am and I know who God say I am and what God says I can do.
Text Luke 10:25–37 (King James Version)
“Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people.”
The Fields are
white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, “If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;”
Luk 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luk 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Luk 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Luk 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Luk 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
Luk 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Luk 10:31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Luk 10:32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
Luk 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
Luk 10:34 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.
Luk 10:35 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.
Luk 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
Luk 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Let’s pray. Father, Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear
Your voice. Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
Luke chapter ten and beginning in verse twenty-five, it is the familiar story of the Good Samaritan, and it is told in response to a question asked of Jesus by a Jewish lawyer. The story begins in verse twenty-five where we read, “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
The man went from
Jerusalem which was the city of peace, the center of religion and the place
where God had placed his name. He was traveling on a downward course to the
city of Jericho which has always been a type of sin.
The priest and Levite represent dead and unresponsive religion.
We are told that this man is a lawyer; but he is not the kind of lawyer who goes to court in a civil or criminal case. This “lawyer” is an expert in Old Testament Law he is a Old Testament scholar.
The question asked of
Jesus by this lawyer is: “What do I have to do to have eternal life?”
Basically, he is asking, “What must I do to be saved?” When he asked Jesus
the question about eternal life, he was asking what Jesus saw as the essential
requirements of the Law. Much like the rich young ruler of Matthew he seems to
be saying, “What good thing must I do in order to have eternal life?”
I can just see Jesus
smiling as he throws the question back in the lawyer’s lap in verse twenty-six:
“He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of
it?" Jesus restraints from giving the man an answer and rather says to
him, “You know the law, what does it say?”
In verse twenty-seven the lawyer answers Jesus, "… You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and "your neighbor as yourself."’ (28) And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."
Jesus asks the question; the man gives the answer and then Jesus responds by saying, “Good answer, now do it.” Some are troubled by this answer but we need to understand that Jesus is not saying that he could be saved by the law.
He is reminding the man what the law says. The law requires not only that one keep the law, but that he keep it perfectly. The law must be kept without omissions or failures. To be justified under the law one must be perfect. Jesus wants the lawyer to see that law cannot save anyone because no one can keep the law perfectly.
Now the Old Testament lawyer did what lawyers do so well he looked for a loophole in the law. In verse twenty-nine says, “But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Why did the lawyer ask this question? Luke says that he wanted to “justify himself,” that is he wanted to make himself seem right in his relationship with God.
The lawyer is left
without any of the excuses or the vindication that he wanted. The second
question that the lawyer had asked was, “Who is my neighbor?” the question had
been turned on him and is now, “What kind of neighbor am I?”
In 1 John 3:16-18, in
surely one of the most convicting passages in the Bible we read, “By this we
know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down
our lives for the brethren. (17) But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees
his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God
abide in him? (18) My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue,
but in deed and in truth.”
James in his practical principles for living the Christian life says in (James 1:15-17),
“If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, (16) and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? (17) Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead”
Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
The lawyer measured himself against both commands and he figured that he met the first one well enough, but his keeping of the second one depending on how you defined “neighbor.” He was asking, “Who and how much do I have to love?” We are often like the lawyer in that we try to reduce God’s commands to something we can live with. We would like to believe that loving my neighbor means loving people who love me, or at least loving people who are lovable.
The Samaritan was a half-breed of a different culture and religion. He was absolutely from the wrong side of the tracks. By using such a one as this in His illustration, Jesus was sure to ruffle the feathers of this self-righteous professor.
Every nation and region
has always had a class of people who were looked down on and held in disdain
and in ancient Palestine, it was the Samaritans.
Loving my neighbor thereby
comes to mean; doing nice things for people who will probably do nice things
back to me. That is probably what he lawyer thought too.
The lawyer’s original question was “What do I have to do to get in?” But Jesus’ answer is to tell him what someone who is already in looks like. Like many of us, the Lawyer knew the right answers. But he was totally unprepared for Jesus’ story about what compassion looks like in real life.
Jesus defines neighbor with a story but notice that Jesus did not call this story a parable, so it could be the report of an actual occurrence.
Compassion Feels Something
In verse thirty-three we read, “ But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.”
It would have been shocking for Jesus to have told the people that this man was helped by just an ordinary man. But it is not even a Jew helping a Jew, but rather a Samaritan helping a Jew who had been ignored by his fellow Jews. Given the mutual hatred between Jews and Samaritans, it would have been more likely to have expected the Samaritan to finish the guy off. Today we call this story “The Parable of The Good Samaritan.” In fact the very phrase, “good Samaritan” has become part of our common language. But this was definitely not a phrase in use by Jews of Jesus’ day. In fact, they probably couldn’t have even considered saying the words “good” and “Samaritan” in the same sentence.
The passage says that “when he saw him, he had compassion,” It comes from a word that refers to the intestines, or bowels. It sounds pretty gross! But it’s the equivalent of what we mean when we talk about a “gut feeling.” A gut feeling is one that comes from the deepest part of who we are. The Samaritan saw the same pitiful man lying in agony beside the road and his heart churned within him so that he could not pass by without helping. That’s the way compassion affects us. It stirs us; it troubles us, it keeps us awake at night until we do something.
When that Samaritan looked at that suffering man lying half-dead by the side of the road, something happened in his gut; something that made it impossible for him to walk away. He didn’t decide to help this guy on the basis of how worthy he was. He helped him because of how needy he was.
There is no a logical reason for the Samaritan to rearrange his plans or to spend his money to help an “enemy” in need. Of all the people who passed this injured man by the Samaritan had the least reason to help, he was a no-account in his society before this incident and his good deed would not change his status in the community at large.
Compassion Not Only Feels Something but
3. Compassion Does Something. (v. 34)
Not only was the Samaritan’s compassion based on the need, rather than the worth, of the victim, but it caused the Samaritan to feel something so deeply that it had to be expressed in action. In verse thirty-four we are told, “So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
He doesn’t pass by on the other side. He moved toward the injured man. You must move toward people to express compassion, in order to build relationships. It is not something that just mystically happens, it takes concentrated effort. It often is not convenient. But I don’t want you to forget that the Samaritan is moving toward someone who if he was conscious would despise him; someone who no doubt would not do the same for him if the situations were reversed.
Jesus details in a series
of six verbs just how active this man’s compassion was, I want you to underline
these words in this verse; he went to him, he bandaged his wounds, he poured
oil and wine on his wounds, he put him on his donkey, he brought him to an inn
and he took care of him.
In every one of his acts he demonstrated compassion as he responded in a practical, timely and unselfish way. He put him on his own donkey which meant that the Samaritan walked.
It is important to recognize that he took the time to take care of him. We may not be able to help everywhere, or help everyone, but we can help somewhere and try to do a meaningful work of service.
Compassion Not Only Does Something but
4. Compassion Cost Something. (v. 35)
“On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, "Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’
This man really went the extra mile, he took this man to an inn and saw to it that the innkeeper looked out for the recovering victim.
He also promised that he
would return and fully reimburse the innkeeper for any additional expenses that
he incurred in caring for this man. He left money to take care of this man’s
needs and he put no limit on how much he would spend to see the wounded man
taken care of. There is nothing more the Samaritan could have done to show his
compassion for this man.
Compassion Cost Something and
5. Compassion Demonstrates Our Relationship to God (vv. 36-37)
At the conclusion of His story he asks the lawyer one additional question in verse thirty-six, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to him who fell among the thieves.” The lawyer almost chokes on his words here. He cannot even bring himself to say the word “Samaritan” and so he responds in verse thirty-seven with, "He who showed mercy on him." And for the second time Jesus tells this man to do something in order to inherit eternal life when this verse continues with Jesus saying to him, "Go and do likewise." Why does Jesus say this? Because he realizes that this man will not turn to him for salvation until he turns from his dependence on “doing” something to earn eternal life.