Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 131 WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?

 
Luke 10:25-37;

Lesson 131 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself" (Luke 10:27).

I The Lawyer's Weighty Question and the Answer

A good question is asked, Luke 10:25; Matthew 19:16 He being a lawyer is pointed to the Law of Moses, Luke 10:26 The two great commandments are quoted by the lawyer, Luke 10:27; Matthew 22:37-40; Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18 The lawyer is commended, and told to keep them and live, Luke 10:28

II The Lawyer's Next Question Concerning His Neighbor

He attempts to justify himself: 'Who is my neighbour?' Luke 10:29 A man was robbed, wounded, and left half dead, Luke 10:30 The priest who saw him passed by on the other side, Luke 10:31 The Levite who saw him passed by on the other side, Luke 10:32

III The Samaritan — the Answer to the Lawyer's Question

The Samaritan who saw him had compassion on him, Luke 10:33; John 4:9 He is moved by his compassion to care for the wounded man, Luke 10:34, 35; Matthew 9:36 Jesus' pointed question: 'Which . . . was neighbour unto him?' Luke 10:36 The lawyer's correct answer: 'He that shewed mercy on him,' Luke 10:37

NOTES

Insincerity

A certain lawyer stood up and tempted Jesus. This shows that the man was not sincere in his inquiry concerning eternal life, but wanted rather to match wits with Jesus. The lawyer wished to justify himself rather than to obey the Word of God. There are many today who take the same attitude and justify themselves instead of repenting of sin that they might be justified before God. When approached about salvation Lhese people often ask, 'There are so many religions — how can I know which is right?'

Knowledge of the Law

Jesus was patient with this lawyer who inquired about eternal life. Jesus asked him, 'What, is written in the law? how readest thou?' This man being a lawyer was familiar with the Law of Moses. He demonstrated his knowledge of the essence of the Law by repeating the two great com¬mandments on which 'hang all the law and the prophets.' This reveals the knowledge he had of the importance of love. But the lawyer also showed his desire to be technical and keep the letter of the Law rather than the spirit of the Law by asking the question, 'And who is my neighbour?' This brought from Jesus a beautiful example of what 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself' really means.

The Priest

'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.'


Under the Law priests had a high office to fill in the work of God. Their duties were to teach the people, pray for them, and offer up sacri¬fices. Certainly a man of this high calling should exemplify the virtues of one called of God, and manifest the love which the Law demanded. Much too often these priests went through the ritual of the Law as a matter of routine. This priest who came down from Jerusalem no doubt had com¬pleted his duties there and was returning to his home. Perhaps he thought he had performed all the service required by God to his fellow man. His routine was complete. Let somebody else take care of this fellow.

Mercy Required

Israel was going through their program of sacrifices and fasting in the days of Isaiah when God cried out: 'Is not this the fast that I have chosen? ... Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?' Isaiah 58:6, 7).


There is a danger of our service for God becoming routine to the extent that we forget the acts of mercy that God calls upon us to render. As children of God we are called to service, and our eyes should be open to show mercy to those in need. Jesus said, 'I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? ... And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me' (Matthew 25:35-40).

The Levite

Following the priest on the road down from Jerusalem to Jericho was a Levite. The Levites were helpers to the priests in the Temple service. When the Levite came and looked upon the wounded man, he, too, crossed over to the other side leaving the poor fellow to die unaided, and uncared for. Perhaps he had seen the priest do the same thing and decided if the priest, his superior, did nothing about it, neither should he. As Christians, we are examples of Christian living. The world is watching our lives. They read into Christianity the example which we set. To the Corin¬thians Paul wrote, 'Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men' (II Corinthians 3:2).

The Samaritan

'But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.' The love that the Jews should have known by their knowledge of the Law was lost by their failure to follow from the heart the way God had shown them. Jesus came to His own, the Jews, but they received Him not. But here we find a Samaritan, whose nation was despised by the Jews, manifesting love that the Jews did not have. Paul spoke of the Gentiles which have not the Law doing by nature the things contained in the Law. What a rebuke it was to the Jews that a Samaritan should manifest a love greater than their priests and Levites! Should not this be a lesson that Christians take care lest the world exhibit greater love toward the needy than they? The Samaritan helped this man, out of the compassion of his heart, not to be seen of men. He bound up his wounds. He set him upon his own beast and contented himself to walk. He spent the night in the inn taking care of the wounded man; not only that, he provided for the man until he was completely re¬covered. This is an example of love for one's neighbor.

The Answer

The lawyer found the answer to his question, 'And who is my neighbour?' It is not just the man who lives next door, but also the man who is hated, the outcast, the sinner, in fact any one in need. 'If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee' (Proverbs 25:21, 22). The instructions of Jesus, 'Go, and do thou likewise' revealed to the lawyer his need of the love of God in his own heart as the answer to the question, 'What shall I do to inherit eternal life?'

QUESTIONS

1 What two questions did the lawyer ask Jesus?
2 What answers did Jesus give?
3 How did the lawyer reveal his knowledge of the Law?
4 What were the duties of the priests? The Levites?
5 Who were the Samaritans?
6 What other Samaritans are mentioned in the New Testament?
7 What lack on the part of the Jews is revealed in this lesson?
8 Why do you think Jesus spoke of the priest and the Levite the way He did?
9 Who beside this lawyer asked Jesus the question, 'What shall I do to inherit eternal life?'
10 What was Jesus' final instruction to the lawyer?

 
   
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