03 Feb The Good Samaritan, two messages in one
This parable can have more than one simple reading. In the practical sense it is a great story of an outsider showing mercy and compassion for a fellow man, while those that should know better it is showing a lack thereof.
But wait! There is more!
In the previous versus (see Luke 10:21-24) Jesus talks to His Father, and rejoices how some things are hidden to (I presume) those that are confident in their own law keeping, but these truths are revealed to those that have a heart to believe in a gracious Father and the Son whom He sent. It is always good to see these things in context and also see to whom Jesus is addressing.
Here a Lawyer, a religious guy that knows all the ins and outs of the law of Moses is asking Jesus how to receive eternal life. He is testing Jesus but Jesus answers his question with a question, how does he understand the law? The lawyer feeling confident here says “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 neighbour as yourself.’”
Jesus says do that and live! No problem thinks the lawyer he has the God part sorted, but not so sure about the neighbour bit, like most or all of us, he probably had a few issues with people, maybe the neighbour was just people like him, who practiced his style of religion. Here Jesus gives him a story. The simple way of reading this story is the beaten up traveler is the neighbour and the samaritan is the lawyer. This does not fit, the samaritans were not jews, they despised one another, and the lawyer is a Jewish lawyer. Let’s read this another way. There is a man travelling from a place of God, called Jerusalem, he is on the way to Jericho, a place that was cursed (see Joshua 6:26). This is you and me, humanity, we have left God and our destiny is cursed. We have fallen among thieves. Who is the thief in this world? Jesus said;
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJV)
Yes our enemy is the one that would steal and rob us of everything God has for us. We are naked, just like Adam and Eve – the thief has taken our righteousness and our ground is now cursed (see Genesis 3:17).We are wounded, we can not help ourselves or get back what has been taken. We are left half dead, physically alive, but dying, on the way out, and spiritually dead.
The religious good guys came passing by, but they are totally inadequate to help our fallen state, they just look the other way and pass over on the other side. They will tell you how to live, but they can’t fix what is broken.
The next one to pass is a total stranger, someone who is rejected from the house of Israel, he sees the condition of the man but does not say to himself, this man got himself in this mess, I guess he will have to get himself out, maybe I will pay for the ambulance but he will have to pay me back. No, this man has plenty of resources, more than you or I would have. He is able to attend to his wounds. He pours into the man wine, new wine I should think, which is the Holy Spirit (Luke 5:38), Jesus said “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.(John 15:1), This is the life of Jesus, eternal life. He also pours oil, to get olive oil the fruit must be crushed, just as Jesus was crushed for us, so that we might have His health and sanctifacation. Jesus cares for us and pays the Inn keeper ( The Church with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) to take care of us. He supplies all provision. This is not costing the injured party, the insurance company, hospital, hotel, or anyone anything, This is Jesus and He supplies all. Not only all, up to the moment of dropping him off to the inn, but for all the time that He is away, and when He returns he will cover all other extra expenses. This is grace over and above beyond. The two denarii are interesting because it speaks of two days, one denarii is in bible times a days wage as we shall see below. This speaks of the church age, The times of the Gentiles, the mystery not yet revealed Here is a quick look at the redemptive week of God
Genesis explains the original creative week, everything in the Bible has meaning, especially numbers. Here we have a natural week of seven days, in six days everything was complete, even man made in the same image as God. On the seventh day God rested. Now the scripture tells us that in Gods redemptive time span, a day is as a thousand years (see Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8).
From the time of Adam to Abraham was 2000 years, that is two days. From Abraham to Jesus at the cross was 2000 years a total of 4 days. That leaves just 3 days to make up one redemptive week. We know from scripture there is a 1000 year rest when Jesus returns with His saints and reigns 1000 years. The true Sabbath rest of one 1000 year day. So that leaves 2000 years since the cross of Christ around the date of AD33 or so. We are now standing at the dawn of the seventh day. Now the good samaritan (in this case Jesus) paid the innkeeper two denarii. One denarii is a days wage in scripture (see Matthew 20:2). Jesus gave him enough provision to last two days. We can now read this as the church being a place for 2000 years where the broken and sin sick are made whole and cared for by the provision of our Saviour Jesus who paid for everything. What did the wounded man have to do, nothing, just forget his pride and let Jesus take care of him totally. Now He is returning, and if there has been any extra then He will pay for that too, yes He is coming with a reward.
Returning to our lawyer;
Jesus said “So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”(Luke 10:36-37)New King James Version (NKJV)
Notice he said who was the neighbour to the one in need, not who was the neighbour to the samaritan, the scripture is saying Jesus is the neighbour, it is actually Jesus who has all the resources, We just got to look at Him, and follow.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 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, “ ‘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 neighbour as yourself.’”
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 neighbour?”
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, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbour 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.”