I’m sure you’ve heard about the parable of the Good Samaritan. It is a very familiar story to Christians and people that aren’t Christians. But even though it’s very popular, commentaries say that the parable of the Good Samaritan is pretty much misunderstood.

The parable is about a man that was robbed and beat, almost to death, left alongside the road. A priest went by and didn’t help him, a Levite went by and also didn’t help him. But a Samaritan man helped him out. Jews and Samaritan hated each other. So it was least expected that the Samaritan would help the Jew that was left to death. We all know that we ought to be the Good Samaritan. Help others. But today I want to dig a little deeper into our hearts.

We never talk about the LAWYER, the expert in Biblical law, in verse 25. So let’s look at Luke 10: 25-29..

25 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?  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?”

Jesus was doing personal evangelism to this man in front of him. The lawyer’s intent was to test Jesus. This tells us the lawyer’s motive was not good. He wasn’t seeking truth. He wasn’t seeking information. He was doing what all these religious people did. This Lawyer wasn’t an expert of criminal law, he was a lawyer in the sense of Scripture. He was an expert of the Old Testament law. So he stands up and like they always did — the Pharisees, the priests — puts Jesus to a test hoping He will fail. He asked “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”. And Jesus, as He usually does, answers with a question. “What does the Law say?”. The lawyer shares two scriptures: Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18. These are two Scriptures that sum up the entire law of God.

“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.”

This is what Jesus replied:  “You have answered correctly, do this and you will live.” But wishing to justify himself, the lawyer said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”. The lawyer is so blind, that he doesn’t even think about how he loves God or how he loves man. In his mind he loves God perfectly the way God requires him to. All he thinks about is maybe you’ve got a different definition of neighbor. Well, this man doesn’t have any interest in a true evaluation of his condition.The story is to shatter his pride.

According to the Jews, the people considered neighbors were of the same Hebrew nation, people that observed the law as they did. Basically they viewed their own community as “neighbors”. But the question should have never been who qualifies to be loved? The main point is: our character of our love towards others. It’s not who your neighbor is, it is who YOU are. Who is the man that shows that love?

Deeply the point comes to the heart. Forget trying to decide who qualifies for you to love them, and demonstrate a love that knows no qualifications. Everyone in your path, all the time, where there’s a need is to be loved, love sacrificially, love generously, love tenderly, love limitlessly, love kindly, loved as long as the need exists. Every person, even if that person is your enemy.

This story is designed in a way for US to examine our motives in our hearts. We need to be mindful of this: we all fall short, it isn’t until we admit it that God can start working in us. Have you ever found yourself being the lawyer? I have.

My husband came up to me a few years ago and said God put on his heart to give finances to a pastor/missionary in the Philippines. My answer: “sure…” But in the back of my mind I was asking so many questions, “I don’t know this guy, he is so far, what if he uses the money for the wrong reasons. How can my husband trust him?”. Fast forward to few years later, our finances have helped him feed thousands of families, bought school items for kids and even built a church building for his congregation.

It isn’t until we admit that we ARE the lawyer, that we start the process of becoming more like the Good Samaritan. We don’t really love our neighbors like God does.

It’s not who your neighbor is, it is who WE are.

The lawyer took a prideful posture while the Samaritan took a humble posture. We have so much to give to others, it is time to put pride aside.

Give love, joy and peace without expecting anything in return.

Suail Fabros-Neman

Marketing Coordinator & Work-from-home-mom
Instagram: @ssuail
Lives in: USA

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