Friday, December 04, 2020

2020.12.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 10:25–37

Read Luke 10:25–37

Questions from the Scripture text: Who stood up in  Luke 10:25? What was he doing to Jesus? What does he ask? With what kind of sentence does Jesus respond (Luke 10:26)? What is Jesus’s question? How does the law-expert answer (Luke 10:27)? What does Jesus say about this answer (Luke 10:28)? What does Jesus say would happen if the man could do this? What did the law-expert now want to do (Luke 10:29)? What does he ask? What does Jesus tell in answer (Luke 10:30-35)? Where is the man in the parable going (Luke 10:30)? What happens to him? Who come by in Luke 10:31-32, and what do they do? Who comes by in Luke 10:33? What does he have? What does he do in this compassion (Luke 10:34-35)? What does Jesus ask at the end of the parable (Luke 10:36)? What does the man answer (Luke 10:37a)? What does Jesus tell the man to do (verse 37b)?

The parable of the good Samaritan is very familiar. We are to love our neighbors—even those who are from groups that would ordinarily despise us (Luke 10:33a), out of genuine compassion (verse 33b), and even at great cost to ourselves (Luke 10:34-35). 

But the context of the parable—and therefore, also, its primary message—is not so familiar. The reason that we have this parable at all is that there was an expert in the law who wanted to justify himself.

He wanted to know what he could do to inherit eternal life.

Jesus asks him, and it turns out that he already knows that basically he has to obey all of God’s law, perfectly, from the heart.

But he can’t do that. And that’s the point. You and I can’t earn our eternal life for ourselves. Here was a man who wasn’t coming to Jesus to receive eternal life as a gift. He was coming for instructions about how to earn it.

So, when Jesus affirms that the man was correct about what he would have to do (Luke 10:28), the man wants to justify himself (Luke 10:29). And the whole thing ends with Jesus telling him that he would have to love, even his enemies, in this way (Luke 10:37).

So, yes, a big part of this parable is teaching us what loving our neighbors looks like. But the point of the passage as a whole is that you and I cannot possibly love this way in our flesh. But the Lord Jesus Christ has loved us—His enemies—at the greatest expenditure and sacrifice that could ever have been!

Having His keeping of the law counted for us is the only way to receive eternal life. And then, as He is working in us according to that eternal life that He has earned, this is the kind of neighbor-love that we should pursue by grace—rejoicing as we see Him producing it in us.

Have you received eternal life as a gift? What enemy are you compassionately loving as another gift from Christ?

Suggested songs: ARP15 “O Lord within Your Tent” or TPH457 “Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness”

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