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  • Becky Carriker

Sunday, 5/19/2024



“Who is my Neighbor?”

Those who love God most will love others best!

Luke 10:25–37 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test,

saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26  He said to

him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27  And he

answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with

all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your

neighbor as yourself.” 28  And he said to him, “You have answered

correctly; do this, and you will live.”

29  But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my

neighbor?” 30  Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to

Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and

departed, leaving him half dead. 31  Now by chance a priest was going

down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.

32  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed

by on the other side. 33  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where

he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34  He went to him and

bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his

own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35  And the

next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying,

‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I

come back.’ 36  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a

neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37  He said, “The one

who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do


In vv. 25-28 Jesus is not saying that by loving God and one’s neighbor

that a person can earn eternal life.

Jesus is not saying that we are saved by our good deeds of love!

But because if one has truly been saved by grace through faith they will

do such things.

Good works, such as love of God and neighbor, are the effect of saving

grace, not its cause.

Although Jesus doesn’t identify this man who was on a journey, he was

most certainly a Jew.

The parable is dependent on the assumption that what the Samaritan

did, at least the priest could have done.

Jews were required to bury a neglected corpse.

Levites were religious officials whose responsibility was to police or

guard the temple religious ceremonies.

Jews typically cursed Samaritans publicly and in synagogues and openly

prayed that God would never save any of them.

John 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew,

ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no

dealings with Samaritans.)

John 8:48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you

are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

In v. 33 the first reaction of the hated Samaritan was compassion!

They robbed him / The Samaritan pays for him They leave him dying /

The Samaritan leaves him well attended to and cared for They abandon

him / The Samaritan promises to return

Jesus reverses the question of v. 29. Don’t ask, “Who is my neighbor?”

Rather, ask, “Whose neighbor am I?”

The parable is not about the identity of your neighbor.

The parable is about your identity as a follower of Jesus.

Love is not determined by the object of your affection and your attention

but by you, the subject.

(1) The parable is not designed to tell us that our responsibility is to

stand beside the road and wait for people who are in need so that we

might help them.

(2) The parable is not an indictment of religious leadership or the

Temple. Neither is it an indictment of the upper classes.

(1) Jesus tells a story that changes the question from “What kind of

person is my neighbor?” to “What kind of person am I?”

Christian or Christ-like love does not permit us to choose whom we will

or will not love.

(2) This parable is also about the uselessness of a so-called “faith” that

does not “work.”

(3) This parable is a stinging, damning indictment of all forms of social,

religious, and racial bigotry.

The kindness of Christians must never be restricted to Christians, as if

we are obligated to help and to love only those who share our faith.

Why does it matter? Because eternity is at stake. Its not just about

telling the Gospel it’s about living out the Gospel we say we believe in

order that someone may turn from their sin and trust Christ as Savior

and Lord.

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