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THE GOOD SAMARITAN

 

BIBLE TEXT – READ (LUKE 10:25-37)

 

Most people have heard the expression, “good Samaritan”.  Many people understand the meaning of the term.  When a person performs a good deed or is helpful to another person, they are sometimes called a “good Samaritan”.  The term “good Samaritan” is actually found in the dictionary and is defined as, “a person who pities and helps another or others unselfishly”.  Few people, however, are aware of the origin of the term.  It comes from the Bible, the Word of God.  It is found in the gospel of Luke, chapter 10, verses 25 through 37.  It is derived from the response of Christ to the question of a Jewish lawyer who asked, “WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE”?  It is similar to another question asked by one known as the Philippian jailer which is recorded in, (Acts 16:31).  He said, “What must I do to be saved”?  Have YOU ever asked questions like these?  Have YOU ever been so concerned about the eternal well being of your own soul that you sincerely and earnestly asked these kinds of questions, “WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE”?  WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?  Do YOU know the answers to these questions?  In this message we will provide the answers to these questions.

 

In the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan there are four particular men we want to focus on.  By way of outline we want to consider each of them.  We want to notice who they are, what they did and more importantly we want to notice what they represent.  We will consider;

 

  1. A CERTAIN MAN   (VERSE 30)
  2. A CERTAIN PRIEST   (VERSE 31)
  3. A CERTAIN LEVITE   (VERSE 32)
  4. A CERTAIN SAMARITAN   (VERSE’S 33-35)

 

1. A CERTAIN MAN.

We read in, (verse 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”.  Let’s notice first of all the DIRECTION OF HIS JOURNEY.  This man was on a journey from Jerusalem to Jericho.  In actuality it was a steeply descending road, dropping 3000 feet from Jerusalem to the valley of the Jordan River where Jericho was located.  It was a lonely and desolate road for most of its seventeen miles.  There were many hiding places for robbers who took advantage of the isolated conditions.  This “Certain Man” is representative of all men for we too are on a journey, the journey of life.  YOU are traveling the “highway of life”, passing through time on the way to eternity.  This traveler is a picture of the natural man, the unsaved man, on his journey through life.  Like him, YOU are going spiritually from “Jerusalem to Jericho”.  Jerusalem” is the city of God and it is synonymous with the presence of God.  Jericho” is synonymous with the curse of God as we read back in (Joshua 6:17).  In other words, if you are still unsaved your journey through life is away from the presence of God in heaven and towards the place called hell where you will be eternally separated from God.  If YOU are traveling through life unsaved your back is toward God and your face is toward eternal destruction.  The Bible, the Word of God, makes it clear that there are only two roads through life and two destines at the end of this life.  We read in, (Matthew 7: 13, 14) “Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat”.  “Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  What is the DIRECTION OF YOUR JOURNEY through life?  Are YOU on the narrow way that leads to life or are YOU on the broad way that leads to eternal destruction?  You need to understand that we all begin our journey through life on the “Broadway” because God says in His Word, “We are born in sin and shapen in iniquity”. (Psalm 51:5).  It says in, (Ephesians 2:3)”We are BY NATURE the children of wrath”.  (It means the natural man is exposed to the wrath of God and facing the judgment of God).  God is actually issuing YOU an authoritative command to leave the “Broadway” and enter the “narrow gate” to the “narrow way” (which is Jesus Christ) that leads to heaven and eternal life.  WHEN WILL YOU CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE?  From the beginning of your life you have been going down, away from God.  Like this traveler, you have fallen into the hand of the enemy, Satan who has robbed you of eternal life with God.

 

The next thing we should notice is the DANGER ASSOCIATED WITH HIS JOURNEY.  It says of our traveler, he “fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead”.   The thieves represent Satan and the unseen forces of evil.  Clothing is the Biblical symbol of righteousness.  As the traveler was stripped literally, so have men been “stripped” spiritually.  When Satan seduced Adam he stripped him, and all his descendants, of righteousness.  We read in, (Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.   This is why God says in His Word in, (Romans 3:10) “There is none righteous, no, not one”.  (Romans 3:9, 12, 23) also tell us, “Jews and Gentiles, they are all under sin”.  “There is none that doeth good, no, not one”.  All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.  Notice dear reader, there are no exceptions or no exclusions to God’s condemnation of mankind.  YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE is not without danger if you remain in your sins and continue to reject God’s offer of salvation.  It says of our traveler, he was wounded.  Consider the world today and the state of humanity.  Do we not see a “wounded” society and “wounded” lives wherever we look?  It says of our traveler that the thieves left him half dead.  There could not be a more accurate picture of the human race, for until a man, by faith, accepts God’s gift of eternal life, he is “half dead”.  If YOU are unsaved you are “half dead” because the only life you possess is physical, for this earthly existence only.  You are lacking “spiritual life” which is received by being “born again” and which is essential for the eternal state that succeeds the earthly.  God says in His Word in (Ephesians 2:1) that the unsaved person is “dead in trespasses and sins”.  This is what man is by nature and by practice.  By nature man is dead.  By practice man is disobedient.  This is God’s declaration of the natural man still in his sins.  By describing man as dead it means that man by nature is devoid of even one living principle God ward.  The natural man is devoid of spiritual and eternal life.  People are living today as if there is no judgment and no accountability to God.  You can disbelieve and deny these truths but God says in His Word YOU will have to give an account at the judgment of God.  Sin has consequences because we read in the Bible, the Word of God, (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”.  Death is not only physical but spiritual and eternal as well.  It says in, (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.  Notice dear reader, the words “after this”.  Death is not the end.  There is a hereafter.  God says in His Word that after death there is judgment and an eternity of endless suffering for those who die in their sins and thus are not ready to meet God.  We read in, (Revelation 20:15) “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”.  Do YOU know for certain that your name is in the “book of life”?  Nothing is more important in life than making sure YOUR NAME is in “the book of life”. 

 

2. A CERTAIN PRIEST

 It says in, (verse 31) “And by chance there came down A CERTAIN PRIEST that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  The priest saw the wounded and dying man but came not near him.  He did nothing to help.  He passed by on the other side which means he did not turn out of his course even to come and see him.  We are told in (Hebrews 5:1) that the high priests of Israel were “taken from among men” and that they were “appointed for men in things pertaining to God”.  In Judaism and the Leviticial sacrifices there were things pertaining to God which men must have attended to, but which men could not attend to for themselves.  They must have a priest.  The priest was a mediator between God and man.  There are many in Christendom today still living under the Jewish system of human priesthood which has passed away with the coming of Christ.  The principals of Judaism have permeated much of Christian religion today.  Many still believe they must have a priest and that they must have a mediator between them and God.  They believe they must have a man to function as a priest for them.  But, God says, (1 Timothy 2:5) “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”. Still, many today are depending on their church leader, their priest, their rabbi, their pastor or their minister to get them to heaven.  Dear reader is this a description of you?  YOU cannot depend on any man, in whatsoever capacity, to get you to heaven.  God says in His Word, (Psalm 49:7) “None …can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him”.  No matter how high his religious rank, no minister or priest can secure the salvation of a soul.  Each man must personally repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  The failure of human priesthood is pictured in the story of the “Good Samaritan” and in the failure of the “certain priest” to minister to the dying traveler’s needs.

 

3. A CERTAIN LEVITE                   

It says in, (verse 32) “And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.”  The thought of this verse is that the Levite came and looked on the wounded and dying traveler more attentively, but still did nothing to care for him.  He was not moved with pity or mercy.  The Levites were appointed to minister in connection with the presentation of the sacrifices appointed under the law.  They were set apart to various duties in the tabernacle in the wilderness and later on in Temple worship.  The failure of the Levite to help the wounded man declares the solemn warning, (Romans 3:20) “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight”.  Eternal life is not to be found in trying to keep the Ten Commandments.  Yet, a surprising number of people believe that they will get to heaven by keeping the Ten Commandments.  Most people cannot even recite the Ten Commandments and no man can possibly keep all the commandments of God.  Dear reader, is this a description of you and what YOU are depending upon to get to heaven?  Are YOU trying to work your way into heaven?  Some might ask why then did God give the Ten Commandments?  They were given to show man how far short he comes to God’s required standard of righteousness.  It says in, (Galatians 3:24) “The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith”.  Notice how YOU can be justified with God.  It is by faith not works.  It says in, (Galatians 2:16) “A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ”.  God’s way of salvation is through faith in His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  It says in, (Galatians 3:10) “No man is justified by the law in the sight of God, for the just shall live by faith”.  Was there ever a time in your life when you were saved, when you were “born again” by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? 

 

4. A CERTAIN SAMARITAN

It says in, (verses 33-35) “But a CERTAIN SAMARITAN as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.  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.  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 SAMARITAN IS A TYPE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, GOD’S BELOVED SON.  There are a number of incidents in this little story that remind us of Christ.  These include the following:

 

  1. The Coming of the Savior (verse 33a)
  2. The Compassion of the Savior (verse 33b)
  3. The Care and Companionship of the Savior (verse 34)
  4. The Cost to the Savior (verse 35a)
  5. The Coming Again of the Savior (verse 35b)

 

Let’s consider first of all;

 

1. The Coming of the Savior (verse 33a)

It says of the Samaritan, “As he journeyed, came where he was”.  It reminds us that the Son of God took a journey from heaven to earth 2000 years ago and came where we are.  He left the glory of heaven and in condescending grace He came into this world where men are wounded in sin and are dying in their sins.  We read in, (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.  God has displayed and clearly proved His love for sinners by providing a Savior, His beloved Son.  We read in, (Romans 8:32) “God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up (to the cross) for us all”.  When the Son of God came into the world, deity took on humanity.  It is called the incarnation of the Son of God.  It says in, (Hebrews 2:9) “Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man”.  Scripture calls it a “great mystery” in, (1 Timothy 3:16) “Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh”.  Some might ask the question, “Why did He come, why was He here”?  We are told in, (1 Timothy 1:15) “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”.  This is why He came.  This was the purpose for His coming.  When He was a young lad of about 12 years of age He said, “I must be about my Fathers business”.  The “Fathers business” required the “Fathers Son” because;

There was none other good enough,

To pay the price of sin,

He only could unlock the gates of heaven,

And let us in.

Dear reader, have YOU believed in Him?  Are YOU saved?  Was there a time when, a place where and a manner how in which you were saved?

 

2. The Compassion of the Savior (verse 33b)

This verse says concerning the Samaritan, “When he saw him, he had compassion on him”.  It was loving kindness and compassion that brought the Savior from heaven.  When He saw mankind wounded and dying in their sins He had compassion.  We read in, (Psalm 14:2, 3) “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God”.  This was His divine perception.  “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one”.  This was His divine declaration. 

Even though He saw the total depravity of mankind, in His compassion, He came from heaven to provide salvation by His sacrificial death on the cross.  It says of the Lord while He was here, (Matthew 9:36) “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd”.  He saw mankind as sheep without a shepherd.  We read in, (Isaiah 53:6) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.  The natural man is like a “straying sheep” without a shepherd.  Christ came as the Shepherd for mankind whom God describes as straying sheep who have gone their own way.  The Lord said of himself, (John 10:11) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep”.  Dear reader, are YOU able to say “The Lord is MY Shepherd”? 

 

3. The Care and Companionship of the Savior (verse 34)

We read in this verse concerning the Samaritan, “He 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”.  This pictures a person who has trusted Christ as their personal Savior, for it is believing faith that enables the Lord to bind up the wounds of sin, to pour in the oil (type of the holy Spirit), and the wine (type of joy), which accompanies salvation and the knowledge of sins forgiven.  Have YOU been “born again” or “born from above”?  The Lord Jesus Christ said, (John 3:3, 7) “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”.  “Ye MUST be born again”.  The “new birth” is a divine act of God.  When a person truly believes in and receives the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, the Spirit of God comes and takes up residence in that person’s heart and life.   Have YOU had this salvation experience in your life?  No sinner can enter heaven unless his sins have been forgiven.  If you have committed one sin, you are a sinner, and as a guilty sinner, you need to be saved.  You must repent of your sins.  Without repentance there can be no deliverance from the deadly affects of sin which is God’s judgment.  The Lord Jesus said in, (Luke 13:3) “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish”.  Repentance is a change of mind with regard to sins that will lead to a definite change of attitude and action.  Repentance is the vital bridge between sin and forgiveness.  In order for a person to be saved there must be, (Acts 20:20, 21) “Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”.  Have YOU repented of YOUR sins and put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ?  (John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him”. 

 

4. The Cost to the Savior (verse 35a)

We read in this verse, “And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said take care of him”.  It cost the Good Samaritan something to provide the things with which he ministered to the travelers needs.  It cost the Lord Jesus Christ His life to provide what dying men need.  Salvation is offered to YOU as a free gift.  (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.  God’s salvation is offered to you as a free gift.  It cost you nothing to receive it but it cost the Savior everything to provide it.  God’s overflowing grace and mercy has decreed a way for man to be reconciled to his Creator and rescued from the dire consequences of sin.  God’s sole means for providing salvation is in the gift of His Son who was foreordained “to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).  It is written of the Lord Jesus, “He was obedient unto death even the death of the cross”.  “His path uncheered by earthly smiles, led only to the cross”.  He said in, (John 10:17, 18) “”I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again”.  He voluntarily suffered, bled and died on the cross for our sins.  In those dark hours on Calvary’s cross, “The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.  “He was stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”.  “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin”. (Isaiah 53”6, 4, 10).  It says also in, (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; he was buried, he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”.  Death could not hold the Savior; the grave could not keep Him because He is the holy, spotless, sinless Son of God.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s seal of approval with the offering of His beloved Son and the shedding of His precious blood for sinners.  Dear reader, have YOU believed in Him and His resurrection that you might be saved?  It says in, (Romans 10:9, 10) “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (Jesus as Lord) and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.          

 

5. The Coming Again of the Savior (verse 35b)

In this last part of verse 35 the Samaritan said, When I come again, I will repay thee”.  Like the Samaritan, Christ also has “departed”, but He has promised to come again.   He said to His own before He went back to heaven, (John 14:2, 3) “I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go….I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also”.  The last words the wounded traveler heard from the Samaritan were, “when I come again”.  The last recorded words of the Savior in scripture are, “Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20).  The writer, along with many other believers, believes that the Lord’s return is near.  It could be today.  When He returns where will He find YOU?  Will you be waiting His return in the company of other believers, or will YOU be lying spiritually dead on Life’s highway because you refused to believe the gospel message?

 

In closing let me remind you that you are traveling the “highway of life”, passing through time on the way to eternity.  There are only two destinations before you.  You will spend eternity in either heaven or hell.  Now that you have read this message you have come to a “crossroads” in your earthly journey.  A decision has to be made.  Which way will you go?  Will you continue to willfully neglect and reject God’s free gift of salvation or will you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him as your Lord and Savior?  If YOU do not get saved it will not be because God does not love you or God’s Son did not die for you but it will be because you have refused God’s offer of salvation. It says in the Word of God, (1 Timothy 2:3, 4) “God our savior, who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”.  It says also in, (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. 

 

Please give this matter your most serious attention.  Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.  Remember that “no decision” is really a decision and it is the wrong decision.  Hell is filled with procrastinators and God warns in His Word, (2 Corinthians 6:2) “Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold. NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION”.           

 

Christian Messenger