But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 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. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 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. Luke 10:29-36
This parable begins with “An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus” (v25) We can assume this man was probably a religious leader, a Pharisee or Sauducess, and they wanted to trap Jesus in his teachings, as many of them tried to do. He asked Jesus “What must I do to inherit eternal life”? Jesus knowing he was a religious leader asked him “What does the Mosaic Law say”? The man replied with Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and strength and Love your neighbor. Jesus simply replied “Yes do this and you will live” , However the religious leader wasn’t satisfied with that simple answer, so he challenged Jesus “Who Is my Neighbor”
We often hear the phrase “Love your Neighbor”, but do we know who Jesus is referring to also? Well Jesus gave us a teaching to help us understand. There was a man who was beaten and robbed laying on the side of the road. Three men passed by him, a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan. The priest and Levite ignored the man, while the Samaritan went above and beyond to help and take care of the man. Now to understand this story, you need to understand who the three men were.
The priest we know is supposed to be a mediator between God and the people of Israel at this time. We would have assumed he would have done the right thing but didn’t. A Levite was from the bloodline of Aaron, they were actually the family line of high priests in the Mosaic Law. So again we would have assumed the Levite would have helped, but he didn’t either. Then you have the Samaritan, who were people who were half Jewish and half Gentile. Therefore these people were outcasts during these time periods. This would have been the last person you would have expected to help, but they did
This was a foreshadow of the New Covenant, Jesus was demonstrating. Gods people were not going to just be the Jews but also the Gentiles through Christ.
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Luke 10:37
Jesus asks the religious leader, “Who was the neighbor to the man who needed help”? The religious leader replies “The man who showed mercy” which was the Samaritan. Jesus told him “Go and do the same” , Christ is teaching the religious leaders to have mercy on the Gentiles. At this period of time, the Jews wouldn’t even go near the Samaritans in fear of becoming “unclean”
Jesus point is if you truly Love God and Love your neighbor , then demonstrate it. Don’t be a hypocrite like the religious leaders, show mercy because your Heavenly Father has given you mercy Amen!