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lesson 4




Lk 10:29-37



I. Background of the Parable


        1. Context

a.   A lawyer tested Jesus by asking what to do to inherit eternal life, Lk 10:25.

b.   Jesus asked what the law required, :26.

c.   The lawyer replied with the correct answer, :27.

d.   Jesus told him he had answered correctly, do this and live, :28.

e.   The lawyer wanted to escape by asking “Who is my neighbor?”, :29.

f.    Jesus told about the good Samaritan to teach who is our neighbor.


        2. Definitions/Cultural Insights

a.   Samaritan: a person living in Samaria, the northern part of Palestine that was repopulated with pagans after the Assyrian purging of the ten northern tribes, 2 Kings 17:24.  The Pharisees would have no contact with a Samaritan, even refusing

to travel through the area, Jn 4:9.

b.   Jericho: a city east of Jerusalem near the Jordan River.

c.   Denarii: a Roman coin equal to about one day’s wage, Mt 20:19.

d.   Priest: one who was appointed to serve in the temple at Jerusalem, 2 Chr 26:18-20.

f.    Levite: a member of the priestly tribe of Israel; a descendent of Aaron.



II. Understanding the Parable


        1. The setting…

a.   A man was traveling through a dangerous area, and was wounded by robbers, :30.

b.   Since Samaria was north of Jericho, the Samaritan was traveling far from home, :33.

c.   The wounded man was traveling from Jerusalem, so likely he was a Jew.  Jews avoided

any association with Samaritans.

e    The gospel is the good news of salvation and abundant life, Rom 1:16-17, Jn 10:10!


        2. Jesus taught… Three people saw the wounded man and had an opportunity to help.

a.   A priest sees him and passes by on the other side of the road, :31.

b.   A Levite does the same, :32.

c    A despised foreigner sees him and has compassion, :33.


        3. Jesus showed… there are people with 2 responses to need:

a    The ones who look and talk righteousness (the self-righteous), but do not practice love for whatever reason.

b    Those, the Samaritan, who while not viewed as religious/righteous by the Jews, did practice love towards another in need, at great sacrifice of time and money.


        4. Jesus taught…  a neighbor is anyone, especially anyone in need.



III. Consideration and Application of the Parable


Your Neighbor Is… anyone in need!!

        Many are identified in Scripture as having a special place in the heart of God, Jdg 1:20-23;

Js 2:13-17, 1 Jn 3:16-18.  Who are the needy in your life?  The need may be medical, it may be financial, it may be emotional, it may be spiritual.  What can you do to prepare yourself ahead of time to help?


To Help or Not To Help?…that is the choice

        The so-called religious leaders chose not to help.  Was it fear of being robbed?  Was it a desire to remain “clean”?  Was it a tight schedule - they had to get somewhere fast?  Jesus doesn’t say why, but they chose not to help.  Why would we not help and what promises of God, positive or negative should help motivate us to make the right and loving choice?


To Help The Needy… is to help the Lord

        Jesus taught this in Mt 25:31-46.  What a blessing to know the Lord will honor those who honor the least by meeting their needs, even with a mere cup of water!  How can you help the widows, the orphans, the helpless of your community?


The Neediest… need the Lord

        The paralytic went to Jesus for physical healing and received forgiveness, then healing,

Mk 2:1-11.  How can you be a part of another’s spiritual healing?  What gospel message can you share that they might have eternal life; Mk 16:15-16; Rom 1:16-17?



IV. Memory Verses - Lk 10:36-37


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