How are we put right with God? The expert answers this in verse 27. This can either lead us to realize our sinfulness and ask for God's forgiveness or to do what the expert did. Seek to "justify himself", verse 29. Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan, and the Jews hated Samaritans, to show that this expert wasn't as good as he thought he was. He couldn't even say the word Samaritan, verse 37, never mind have brought himself to help a Samaritan who needed help.
The Good Samaritan was not told so people would follow an example. It was told so the expert would realize that everyone is his neighbour. Yet he would have considered a Samaritan to be an alien, not a neighbour. Therefore, he, like all of us, cannot inherit eternal life by our good deeds, but only through trust in Jesus.
How do I think I will inherit eternal life?
How do others think they will get to heaven?
Why not pray, ask some people that question, and see what God does?!
10:25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" 27 He answered: " `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, `Love your neighbour as yourself.' " 28 "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbour?" 30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. `Look after him,' he said, `and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' 36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" 37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
What prompted this parable? Expert in the law asked the most important question,. Then answered it from OT law. Jesus agreed.
Then he sought to justify himself by limiting the law. Jewish teaching at the time taught your fellow Jew, perhaps the ones in your local community were your neighbour. Perhaps the expert had someone in mind he disliked!
Parable - traveller was a fool, being alone on this road .
Samaritan, foreigner, lived North of Israel for 700 years. Adopted parts of Jewish religion yet worshipped at different temple, was antagonism and were hated by Jews. So hated the expert in the law couldn't say "Samaritan" in verse 37!
Showed he couldn't fulfil the law he believed in. To inherit eternal life we need to be perfect, or we need someone to save us from the consequences of our sin. Jesus.
We need to give control of our lives to Jesus or to face eternity without God.
The story of the good Samaritan doesn't show us how we can receive eternal life. It shows that none of us loves our neighbour, and, therefore, God in whose image they are made, enough.
For example, we probably take advantage of our neighbour every time we shop. In producing food and clothing workers are exploited. Conditions that amount to slavery are used, yet we ignore the opportunity to buy goods that we know have paid a fair wage to the workers and bear the Fairtrade mark. Bananas, oranges, flowers, tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, and jams are examples of items that bear the Fairtrade mark.
We need to say sorry for not loving our neighbours fully, to change our ways, and to trust in Jesus, not ourselves.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne