Christian Churches of God

No. CB39

 

 

The Good Samaritan

 

(Edition 2.0 20040408-20061209)

The parable of the Good Samaritan was used to illustrate the answer to the question, ĎWho is my neighbour?í Jesus was able to point out that a real neighbour helps anyone in need.

 

 

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA

E-mail: secretary@ccg.org

 

 

(Copyright ã 2004, 2006 Peter Donis, Ed. Wade Cox)

 

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The Good Samaritan

The parable of the Good Samaritan is a story about a man who went on a journey and fell among thieves, who beat him badly and left him almost dead. As the story goes, we know that someone eventually came along and offered to help him. But from this story we can also create a picture that portrays the fall of mankind, the salvation that comes through Messiah and then those called being brought into the Church, the House of God.

Let us begin by reading this parable, which is only found in the gospel of Luke.

Luke 10:25-37 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" 27 So he answered and said, "ĎYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,í and Ďyour neighbor as yourself.í" 28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live." 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30 Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 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. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ĎTake care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.í 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves? "37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Weíll start from verse 30 and look at it verse by verse so we can get a fuller understanding of its meaning.

Verse 30: Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

We could say this certain man represents Adam and all his offspring, who make up the human race. The descent from Jerusalem to Jericho pictures manís departure from the Garden of Eden and the Laws of God. We could guess that the thieves in this parable are the demons (in particular Satan), who stripped Adam of his clothing and then the rest of mankind also.

Remember, Adam and Eve were naked when they lived in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:25). This refers to the spiritual garment of purity, innocence and truth that Adam and Eve had before they took and ate of the forbidden fruit. We are not talking about the physical clothing that we wear today.

From that point the demons have wounded mankind, preventing them from having a right relationship with their God. They robbed mankind of the seed of understanding and, in doing so, have left us half dead, spiritually speaking.

Let us consider the path from Jerusalem to Jericho. It is steep and passes through lonely, desolate and rocky country. It was ideal country for thieves and robbers to wait for lonely travellers to come along. A common theme throughout the Bible is to stay in the way or on the path (Pro. 1:15; 4:18, 26; 5:6; Isa. 26:7; Ps. 27:11; Ruth 1:7). We are told not to enter the path of the wicked, or go in the way of evil men (Pro. 4:14). We are to delight in the path of Godís Commandments (Ps. 119:35) which bring life (Ps.16:11).

Verses 31-32: Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.

Israel was called out to be an example to the nations. The priesthood should have been an example in carrying out the Laws and displaying the mercies of God, putting the needs of their brethren before themselves.

Galatians 6:3 If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody.

Their unwillingness to serve and love their fellow man showed how this type of thinking, which could be described as a type of spiritual leprosy that spread and ruined those closest to them, their brothers the Levites. Eventually the entire nation would be infected by this uncaring way of thinking. God wants mercy more than sacrifice (Hos. 6:6; Mat. 9:13).

Biblical law states that we are expected to help a countrymanís donkey that has fallen by the way (Deut. 22:4). How much more are we then expected to help when it is another human being? We should even help those who hate us.

Exodus 23:5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying {helpless} under its load, you shall refrain from leaving it to him, you shall surely release {it} with him.

This verse is not merely referring to a donkey, but is equally referring to humans. Helping in this case shows we are to love even our enemies (Mat. 5:44). Apart from physically helping others we can fast and pray for them so they will be released from their burden of sin. When they come to understand Godís Law they can repent of wrong living and be baptised. This scripture teaches us that we are not to walk past someone in need, and leave him or her helpless, because they may hate us. We are to help with their load when they are in need. We are to do it together.

Galatians 6:2 Share each otherís troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Verse 33: But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.

It does not say which way the Samaritan was headed. But as we read the story it becomes quite clear that he was travelling towards Jerusalem, because this certain Samaritan pictures Christ, as we will see.

Christ is presently on a journey. He is actively leading the Church, which has been in the wilderness for the past 2000 years (that is, 40 Jubilees). As he leads us, he does not walk around or dodge any of those whom his Father gives to him for help along the way (Jn. 6:37). Itís a journey of devotion and obedience to his God and Father.

Remember, the Jews accused Christ of being a Samaritan because he did not accept the traditions of the Pharisees (Jn. 8:48). He wasnít recognised by the people of his day (Mat. 16:13-14). What he taught and how he lived was foreign to them. Jesus taught that we are to love all people from all nations equally.

We learn that Christ is compassionate towards us and can sympathise with our weaknesses.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (NKJV)

 

Verse 34: 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.

Christ came to bind up the broken hearted and those who were afflicted.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;

One translation puts it, Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. We see that oil and wine are depicted as medicine. In times past, oil was used to soothe wounds, and wine was used as a disinfectant. The Bible uses oil as a way to describe Godís Holy Spirit, which soothes and heals us.

What is first mentioned and poured out upon a person is the oil. It pictures the first step in the healing and conversion of a person. God calls people and works with them, and opens their minds to the wounds they have. Not physical wounds like a scraped knee, but wounds of the heart and mind accumulated from living and thinking contrary to Godís Will and purpose. After accepting the sacrifice of His Son, a person is then baptised into the Body of Christ, which is the Church of God.

The pouring of wine, which is used as a disinfectant, symbolises the cleansing of our sins with the blood of Christ. God then pours out His Holy Spirit through Christ. God, through Christ, continues to soothe our wounds.

We have to allow God to heal us through His son. Once we do, Christ then comes to us and begins to bandage our wounds of false doctrines and beliefs and a way of life which was in opposition to his Fatherís Will.

A newly-converted person can be described as a babe in Christ (1Cor. 3:1; Eph. 4:14; 1Pet. 2:2). Christ knows how weak we are when we return to his God and Father. In cases where we do not know where to go, Christ intervenes and carries us to the necessary means, so we will be brought to his body, the Church. We are not made to find our own way.

The wounded man was brought to an inn. This was a place where all were received. It was a house for the reception of strangers, where their cattle and beasts could also find shelter. When we turn to God we too are brought to a type of inn. It is symbolic of the House of God, the Church, where God has placed His truth.

1Timothy 3:15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

An inn is used to illustrate the spiritual House of God. The spiritual inn at the time of Christís life as a man was the physical Temple of God, comprised of the levitical priesthood.

When Christís mother, Miriam, was about to give birth to him, she sought a place of shelter with her husband Joseph. The two approached an inn, but no room was found for them (Lk. 2:7). This was used to illustrate that the physical priesthood and the nation of Israel at that time would reject the coming Messiah by not making any room for him in their hearts. Also, by refusing to allow Miriam to give birth in the inn shows that they also did not want the Laws of God to dawn in their hearts.

Christ was born among cattle and beasts to show that the people of the other nations (known as Gentiles) would accept him, and allow him, and God who sent him, into their hearts. Christ being placed in a manger (Lk. 2:12) symbolised Messiah as the true bread from heaven (Jn. 6:32).

Verse 35: On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ĎTake care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.í

The money was given to the innkeeper. We can think about this as the Church having the responsibility to manage the tithes and offerings that the people give to God.

Galatians 6:6 Those who are taught the word of God should help their teachers by paying them.

The Church has the task of looking after the needs of the people over the two thousand years in which the Gentiles would be brought into the Church. This also includes preaching the gospel to the nations until Christ returns.

The two denarii given to the innkeeper equal a Ĺ shekel, which is the ransom money for a life (Ex. 30:12-13). We have all been ransomed by the sacrifice of Christ. It is the same price for every one of us. It doesnít matter where we come from or what colour we are, or how rich or poor we may be. We are all equal in the sight of God. We shouldnít think higher or lower of someone for these reasons either.

As Christians we are to follow Christ in the way we live our lives. We are to gently and humbly help others who are in need.

Galatians 6:1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.

We are to follow Christís example of helping people along the way so that, when they are strong enough, theyíll be able to help others in return. We are to share each otherís troubles and problems and support each other. In this way we obey the law of Christ and we are each responsible for our own conduct (Gal. 6:2-3).

God knows all our hearts. What we have sacrificed and given is all accounted for and will be returned to us. Loving oneís neighbour ensures we store up treasures in heaven, and when the time comes, we will be repaid in full. We will reap what we sow.

Galatians 6:7 Donít be misled. Remember that you canít ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!

This is like saying that if we do good deeds and are kind to others, then we will find that they are also kind to us. On the other hand if we are mean and make trouble for others then we will find that nobody likes us and we have no friends. The spiritual meaning is that if we live according to Godís Laws, we will inherit eternal life. If we disobey Godís Laws then we will be punished. So, there is a penalty for disobedience and bad behaviour and a reward for obedience and good behaviour.

Let us now consider the question posed by the scribe to test Christ, which was, "What shall l do to inherit eternal life?" In his answer to the lawyer, Christ portrayed himself as a Samaritan who would sacrifice himself to save all mankind, to show love has no boundaries. Christ was demonstrating the selfless act of loving oneís neighbour and laying down oneís life for his friends. In doing so Christ fulfilled the Law. He left us an example to follow. If we love God and love one another, as Christ loved us, we fulfil the Law (Rom. 13:8).

In doing this we should not be unhappy or give up when we sometimes donít get thanked or shown appreciation for what we do.

Galatians 6:9 So donít get tired of doing what is good. Donít get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good deeds for everyone, especially for our Christian brothers and sisters (Gal. 6:10).

Now that we recognise who the Samaritan is in the story, let us then follow his advice and go and do likewise.

 

 

 

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