The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)

     Once again, the enemies of the Lord Jesus were trying to find a way to trap Him in His words.  This time they sent a lawyer.  This would not necessarily be a lawyer in the sense that we think of today.  He would have been very versed in the things of the Mosaic Law.  He would likely be a teacher, and highly regarded in Jewish society.  He tried to tempt the Lord Jesus with a doctrinal question.  “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus did what He often did in this situation.  He countered with another question.  “What is written in the law?  How readest thou?”  The lawyer gave a pretty good answer.  He said to love God with all the heart, soul, and mind.  He also said to love your neighbor as yourself.  The lawyer’s answer was basically to not sin!  Jesus told the lawyer he was right.  Then he told him to do it, but he’d have to do it without fail.  Jesus’ point was that no could do that but Jesus Himself.  Yet the lawyer was willing to think that he could get the job done.  The lawyer asked a qualifying question.  “Who is my neighbor?”  The Jews hated all non-Jews.  The lawyer wanted to know just who exactly he had to love.  He wasn’t going to like the answer Jesus gave him.  Let’s look at the story.  First, we must see…

I.  The Sinner. The certain man that Jesus speaks of in verse thirty represents the sinner.  He represents every man.  He represents the lost and needy people that surround us every day.  The man in the story is about to make some horrible decisions just as every sinner has made horrible decisions.  He is about to end up in a disastrous, dangerous, life-threatening situation.  That is the same situation that every sinner is in before coming to Christ.  Let’s look at some details about the man and the sinner.
A.  His Path. Let’s take a look at verse thirty.  “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.”  That’s the path of every sinner.  It is the path of all mankind.  Jerusalem was the holy city, the city of God.  Jericho was the cursed city.  After Joshua burned Jericho to the ground, he said, “Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city of Jericho:  he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.”  The path of the man represents the path of a sinner.  Man left the presence of God and entered into the sin curse.  The path that all men take every day is one away from God and toward sin. 
B.  His Problem. Verse thirty next says that he fell among thieves.  What else can be expected when your path leads you away from the Lord?  The path to Jericho was a very dangerous one.  There were thieves and bandits all along the way.  They took his money and his clothes.  We do not know if this was a wealthy man, a poor man, or middle class.  The problems of sin do not discriminate.  Sin will destroy and take no matter whom enters into it.  It brings all to ruin no matter the social class.  Anyone who went down that Jericho road could expect the same treatment.  Anyone who goes down the road of sin can expect the same treatment as well.  Be prepared to lose, and be prepared to lose everything. 
C.  His Prognosis. The prognosis was not good.  In fact, it was as bad as it could be.  Those thieves robbed our traveler, wounded him, and left him lying there half dead.  Half dead is the key of the prognosis.  He was all alone.  He had no friends to help him.  There was no way that he could help himself.  He was half dead and on the way to completely dead.  It’s even worse for the lost man.  He’s completely dead and doesn’t even know it.  He certainly has no way to help himself.  Just as the victim on the road to Jericho, he is in need of outside assistance.  Every lost person is in need of outside assistance.  They need the saving power of Jesus Christ, and they need the helping hand of a believer that remembers when they were dead too.
II.  The Scoffers. As if the thieves weren’t bad enough, there were onlookers too.  Have you ever been on the interstate, and traffic suddenly slows down?  Then traffic crawls for the next two hours until you are ready to take your own life?  When you finally get up to the cause of the slowdown, you find that it was a small accident sitting on the shoulder of the road.  It wasn’t even on your side of the interstate!  The reason why traffic was so slow was that everyone on your side slowed down to look!  They didn’t slow down to help!  They slowed down to watch!  That’s very similar to what the next two figures in our passage did.  Sometimes, though, it is what we do.  We see someone that needs Christ, but we don’t do anything about it.  We turn and look, but we don’t do anything to help.  Christ doesn’t need more watchers.  He needs more workers!
A.  The Priest. Look at verse thirty-one.  “And by chance there came down a certain priest that way:  and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.”  You would think that if any person would have the heart to help, it would be the priest.  That was not the case, however.  The poor victim was lying there helpless.  The priest likely would not even check the man for life signs because he already thought he was dead.  The priest had no desire to be defiled by a dead body.  I think that we are often guilty of the same thing.  We see a lost person, but we are too afraid of being “contaminated.”  You know what though?  It’s just how it works.  If you are going to help anybody, then you are going to have to make contact!  You can’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty!  The priest represents the rituals of religion.  Religion looks for how it can benefit from people, not how it can be of benefit to people.  It cannot save anybody.  It cannot heal the deep wounds of sin!   
B.  The Professor. The Levite comes along next.  “And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.”  The Levites were servants of the temple.  They were a set aside tribe of Israel.  The Levite represents legalism.  Legalism looks on the soul in that desperate condition and feels that there is no hope.  Someone so far down in the depths of obvious sin cannot fulfill all of the precepts of the law.  Therefore, they are a lost cause.  How often are we guilty of looking on someone who needs Christ, and then thinking that they are too far gone?  In our minds, they could never have a normal Christian life.  We disqualify people from getting the gospel, because we think they’ll never get saved.  Yet Jesus once cast out a legion of demons out of a man, and all that man wanted to do afterward is follow his Lord.  Leave the saving to God.  Let us only stop on our journey to help rescue the dying.
C.  The Probability. It’s interesting that verse thirty-one says of the priest that by chance he came that way.  Verse thirty-two says that the Levite came likewise.  It was happenstance that these two came by the dying man.  Yet it says of that certain Samaritan that as he journeyed, he came where he was.  It seems that the Samaritan regularly made that journey.  It was something he usually did.  His eyes knew that familiar road.  He knew the dangers of it and how to avoid the thieves and the pitfalls.  Perhaps it wasn’t the first time that he’d seen this happen or the first time he had helped a wounded traveler.  The Lord Jesus has come to seek and to save that which was lost.  It is no happenstance that Jesus passed by your way.  It is no slim chance.  The probability is high that Jesus passed by looking for you.  “Jesus passed my way.  And He made me whole that day.  Just a sinner was I, but then Jesus passed by.  And, oh, what a change in my life, since Jesus passed by.”
III.  The Savior. Verse thirty-three says, “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was.”  The Samaritan was hated by the Jew.  They were half-breeds to the Jew.  They thought them no better than dogs.  Jesus is about to hold up a Samaritan as an example to be followed.  The lawyer shows us his attitude when he answers the question Christ asks in verses thirty-six and thirty-seven.  “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him.”  The lawyer wouldn’t even say the word “Samaritan.”  The Lord Jesus was also despised and rejected by the Jews and by the world.  Yet this Jesus they hated was the One that came to bring them salvation.  While they trusted in their religion and hoped in their law, only Jesus could truly take action to heal their sin-sick souls.     
A.  His Servitude. Verse thirty-three says that he saw him and had compassion on him.  That was the stark contrast between the Samaritan and the other two men who passed that way.  The other two travelers came where he was.  They even saw him, yet they either would do or could do nothing.  The Samaritan went the further step.  In verse thirty-four, he went to him and bound up his wounds.  Ritual and religion cannot help the dying man.  Legalism cannot help him.  Only the ministry of the Lord Jesus and His gospel can save a sin-sick soul.  Christ offers His servitude to all mankind.  It was Christ’s ministrations that rescued you from the sin condition.  You who were dead in your trespasses and sins were made alive unto God by Jesus Christ His Son.
B.  His Supply. Verse thirty-four says that he poured in oil and wine.  These items were used medicinally in those days to clean out and protect wounds.  The Samaritan, as an experienced traveler, likely carried them with him for emergency situations.  He was properly and abundantly prepared to treat this broken, half-dead man.  In the same way, the Lord Jesus, the great Savior, has abundant supply to care for the sin wounds of the lost.   The wine represents the blood of Christ.  The precious blood of Jesus Christ flowed from His hands, His feet, and His side. It washes completely clean the sinner’s stains.  The oil represents His Holy Spirit.  He applies His Holy Spirit and seals the redeemed sinner unto the day of redemption.  The Holy Spirit is our protection.  It is proof-positive that we have been treated.  His blood and His Spirit are in enough and far more than enough supply to cleanse and make you whole.
C.  His Sanctuary. Verse thirty-five says that he took him to an inn, and took care of him.  Out in the middle of nowhere, along a dangerous road, there was a sanctuary available for the Samaritan to bring the rescued man.  It seems only logical that the Samaritan was familiar with this inn.  He knew where it was.  He knew the keeper of the inn.  He knew that it was safe to leave the wounded man there.  “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.”  The church is that inn along the dangerous, desolate road.  Christ rescues the sinner, then places him under the care of the church to disciple him and help him grow.  We have all been charged to take care of sinner that has been saved!