In Luke 10, How Did Jesus Respond To The Lawyer Who Asked Him, And Who Is My Neighbor

Who is My Neighbor?

Both religious and secular communities are familiar with the term “Good Samaritan,” which refers to a kind individual who extends assistance to a stranger in need. But what is the true meaning of the Good Samaritan parable, and why did we chose it as the name for our organization? In Luke 10, a lawyer approaches Jesus and inquires about how he could be able to inherit eternal life. His conscience tells him that he must follow the Jewish law – to love your neighbor as yourself – so he turns to Jesus and says, “Who is my neighbor?” With the parable of the Good Samaritan, in which a man, presumed to be Jewish, is attacked and robbed while lying on the side of the road, Jesus responds.

Fortunately for him, a Samaritan, a person who comes from a culture that the Jewish people of the time would have despised, comes to his assistance.

“The one who showed mercy,” the lawyer responds when Jesus inquires as to which of these three – the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan – acted as a neighbor to the robbed man.

In our capacity as good neighbors, it is our responsibility to be there for one another and work together to affirm the dignity that every person has as a child of God.

The Lawyer’s Second Question

By Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching and Coordinator of the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology at the University of Southern California. It’s a typical lawyer’s blunder to ask a witness a question in open court without knowing what the response will be before the question is even asked. Even inexperienced litigators are aware of the dangers of doing so. If you ask an imprecise, open-ended question while the jury and judge are watching and listening in, who knows what the witness may say, what unexpected testimony, what troublesome evidence, or what undesirable information might seep into the trial with unforeseeable consequences?

  • According to Luke 9:51, Jesus has “determined to travel to Jerusalem” and is about to embark on the long trip to the city of his destiny, his death, and glory.
  • According to Luke, the lawyer’s intention was to put Jesus to the test, and in order to do so, he asks two questions.
  • The lawyer already knew the answer; in fact, the answer was already known by everyone in the audience.
  • As Jesus put it, “You’ve asked me a question, but you already know the answer,” he was saying in essence.

“Can you tell me what you read there?” “You should love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself,” the lawyer says in response to his own question, which could have been foreseen all along.

The phrases he uses here are not ones he learned in law school, and they are not facts he learned at the Scribal Academy.

These are the words that children are taught to memorize because they represent the very core of the Torah – love of God and love of neighbor – and they represent the very essence of what it means to live a good life.

25 Just at that moment, a lawyer stepped up to question Jesus.

26He asked him, “Can you tell me what is written in the law?” “Can you tell me what you read there?” 26″You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might, and with all your mind,” he replied, “and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Afterwards, he told him, “You have given the correct response; now do this, and you will survive.” 29However, in an attempt to defend himself, he said of Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 ‘A guy was traveling down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was robbed.

  1. He was stripped and beaten before being carted away half-dead.’ Jesus responded.
  2. 32As a result, when a Levite arrived at the location and spotted him, he chose to pass by on the opposite side.
  3. His wounds were dressed after he had put oil and wine on them, and he went to him to do so.
  4. 35 “Take care of him,” he told the innkeeper the next day, after withdrawing two denarii from his pocket and promising to reimburse the innkeeper for any additional expenditures when he returned.
  5. So, why didn’t the lawyer just stop there and call it a night?
  6. It was as though he had asked his inquiry, received the correct and expected response, placed it into the court record, and then made his point.

No, the lawyer wanted Jesus to publicly confess that, while he may have appeared a little out of the ordinary, even a little intense at times, whatever he was doing as he made his way from village to village, he was really just waving the flag of the slogan we’ve been repeating since we were children – love God and love your neighbor.

  • They, on the other hand, swiftly become accepted as everyday religious respectability.
  • There is no “I” in the word “Team.” This is something we’ve recited during Vacation Bible School shortly before the punch and cookies.
  • They are beaming with pride, announcing that they “love God so much” and that they also “love all people.” So, what exactly is there to be afraid of?
  • There is nothing to see here.
  • However, the attorney did not stop there.
  • What was the reason for his question?
  • I believe that the lawyer asked the second inquiry because he felt that Jesus had discreetly altered the ground beneath him, rather than because he was being followed.

Jesus, on the other hand, refused to answer the question, instead turning it around on the lawyer and saying “Can you tell me what you read in the Bible?” “Can you tell me what your response is?” The whole court is turned upside down in a single breath-taking motion.

The lawyer is no longer the solicitor who is pursuing the case; instead, he is the accused who is defending his or her own righteousness.

As Luke puts it, he was looking to “justify himself” in some way.

There is no reason for us to be skeptical about this lawyer, to think of him as nasty or as a hypocrite, because none of these things are true.

He was most likely a guy who put into practice what he taught, who lived out the Scriptures in his everyday life, who extended hospitality to his peers and charitable assistance to those in need, among other characteristics.

“I have compassion for all of the people listed above.” He was unquestionably well-placed on the chessboard of “love of God and love of neighbor,” as that term was interpreted in his time and place.

He did not express his appreciation for the lawyer’s accomplishments as a professional.

He accomplished this by narrating a narrative, or a parable.

The fact that this “certain man” (as he is referred to in the King James Version) is generic, and because everyone had traveled the Jericho road at some point in their lives, Jesus was essentially saying to the lawyer, “Imagine that you were traveling down the old road from Jerusalem to Jericho when a terrible thing happened to you.

  1. He is no longer in the position of righteousness, but rather in the position of desperate need.
  2. However, that appears to me to be a close call.
  3. This lawyer, like the most of us who aspire to be respectable, had found a place to call home.
  4. Jesus, on the other hand, proclaims a kingdom that is on the move.
  5. He is on his way to the cross, as well as toward a rediscovered humanity.
  6. In Jesus, the system is not in a state of complete inertia.
  7. And it is for this reason that Jesus throws the lawyer into a ditch beside the road to Jericho.
  8. The fact that this lawyer, who believed he was in a righteous position, is in reality laying face down and naked on the side of the highway demonstrates that he has nowhere to stand on his own power and is, in fact, like the rest of us.
  9. When Jesus undercuts the lawyer’s position, he is demonstrating that, like the rest of mankind, the lawyer must first see the face of grace and then move, repenting.

If this were an example narrative, the moral might be something like, “The Samaritan performed a nice deed; now go forth and emulate him in your life.” In response to which the lawyer would very certainly have said, “I already do.” I do provide assistance to those who are injured and weary in life.

“I’m concerned about my neighbor.” However, what Jesus told was a parable, not a true story to follow.

And, in his predicament, none of his expected resources proved to be of use – neither the priest nor the Levite were able to assist him.

For the Samaritan to save you from your misery – and this is the point – is similar to being a man who seeks to “justify himself” but is instead saved from his predicament due to the grace of Jesus Christ.

Rather than inviting the lawyer to see himself in a new light, Jesus invited him instead to see himself not as one who stands at a distance and defines the term “neighbor” objectively, but as someone who might himself require neighboring – as a wounded traveler in need of rescue, as a lost lamb unable to find his way home.

  1. The impoverished, the lame, the blind, and those who Jesus attracted to his side were in the same boat.
  2. So, the actual answer to the lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbor?” is that you have no idea who your neighbor is until you realize how desperately in need you are and get the unexpected gift of being God’s neighbor as a result of your need.
  3. However, because you are already a good person, it is not necessary to emulate the Samaritan in order to learn the lesson of Jesus’ story.
  4. A number of years ago, I paid a visit to a Christian congregation that had a long and distinguished history of promoting interfaith understanding and mutual ministry.
  5. I asked the preacher why, and he explained.
  6. An intricate design with a miniature Star of David was incorporated into one of the stained-glass windows of the newly reconstructed church.
  7. “It’s a beautiful sight,” the pastor explained.
  8. To be neighbored like that alters everything.
  9. Tom Long grew up in Decatur, Georgia, on Gardenia Lane, a cul-de-sac lined with little houses purchased with the G.I.

Art by John August Swanson. “Good Samaritan,” a limited edition serigraph created by hand in 2002, measures 10 3/4 inches by 30 1/2 inches. (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), p. 214. Robert Funk, Language, Hermeneutics and the Word of God (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), p. 214.

Commentary on Luke 10:25-37

The lawyer asks thoughtful questions and provides thoughtful responses. Neither is it necessary to place the lawyer in an antagonistic position. In reality, the language makes it clear that this is not the case. He refers to Jesus as “teacher” in a polite manner. And Jesus engages with him on an equal footing, answering to the lawyer’s first inquiry with a question of his own. Jesus acknowledges the correctness of the response. Jesus replies to the second inquiry with a tale, which is followed by a question, and once again, the lawyer and Jesus are in complete accord with one another.

  1. The finding is significant since most interpretations of this well-known story, which is only documented in Luke, assume that Jesus and the lawyer had a hostile relationship, which is not the case.
  2. As a result, when there are disagreements about the Law, Jesus fights within the framework of legal argument rather than against it.
  3. Questions for the Attorney “Can you tell me what I need to do to obtain eternal life?” (See verse 25.) Following the parallelism in the synoptic gospels, the questioner inquires as to whether is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) or which is the first commandment (Matthew 7:1-13).
  4. Mark’s version includes an interrogation by a scribe, approval of Jesus’ response, and Jesus remarking on the scribe’s intelligence.
  5. Luke’s version does not attempt to arrange the Torah’s commandments in any particular sequence, but rather inquires about the underlying principle that underlies all of the laws.
  6. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) appears to treat the two queries as one: What is written in Torah?
  7. This makes more sense in the context of the story.
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They work together to provide his interpretation of the scriptures as well as his response to the inquiry.

(I used italics to emphasize certain points.) Immediately following that, the lawyer asks a second question, which is likewise really well-written.

Torah Observance is defined as living in “proper connection” with God, which means living righteously.

The goal of inquiry and discussion is not to narrow the scope of religious devotion, but rather to fulfill God’s will by doing what is right.

Even though this is comprehensible, it is a harmful caricature of the Law that does not represent the experience of practitioners during the time of Jesus or at any other time throughout history.

The response of Jesus to the lawyer’s second inquiry is a popular one among Torah readings of the passage.

What Happened to the Righteous Neighbor is a true story.

The neighbor is the “other,” the one who is most loathed, feared, or who is not like ourselves.

In spite of the fact that Jesus’ tale replies to a different query, the lawyer makes no objection.

The manner in which a listener enters this story has an impact on how he or she experiences its meaning.

According to the preacher, who asks listeners to connect with the priest and Levite, they should recognize their own tendency to accept labels of race, class, or religion to determine “otherness” rather than humanness.

Even while these tactics are potentially beneficial, they have the unintended consequence of portraying Jewish characters (priest, Levite and lawyer) as “other” in Christian terms, by characterizing them as legalistic, bigoted and/or full of themselves-righteousness.

The difference between this job and others is that I am the beneficiary of life-saving compassion from a “other,” rather than having the option of deciding whether or not to be a neighbor without respect to otherness.

Within this environment, it is logical to infer that Jesus would presume the lawyer hears the parable in the same way that the guy who has been beaten and left for dead lies by the road.

They reflected divisions within Judaism that were based on function, social status, religious adherence, and interpretation of the Bible.

According to the gospel account, the lawyer grasps Jesus’ argument, which is that when you accept life-saving mercy, “otherness” is no longer there, and we are instead reminded of our shared human nature.

When Jesus says his closing words, “go and do likewise,” he is echoing the instruction that follows the lawyer’s initial inquiry, “do this and you will live.” Jacob Jervell’s “The Law in Luke-Acts” is a good place to start.

Luke-Acts and the People of God: A Reassessment of the Book of Luke-Acts Minneapolis and Augsburg, Minnesota, 1972. In addition, Marilyn Salmon’s book, Preaching Without Contempt: Overcoming Unintended Anti-Judaism, is highly recommended. The Augsburg Fortress in Minneapolis was completed in 2006.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37, NIV)

Vincent Van Gogh’s painting The Good Samaritan (The Good Samaritan, 189025) On one occasion, a legal expert rose to his feet to put Jesus to the test. “Teacher, what do I have to do in order to obtain eternal life?” he inquired. 26″Can you tell me what is written in the Law?” he inquired. “Can you tell me how you read it?” 26And he said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your might and with all of your mind,’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” 27 28, Jesus responded, “You have given the proper response.

  • 30 “A guy was traveling down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was ambushed by thieves,” Jesus said.
  • Fortunately, a priest happened to be traveling along the same route at the time, and when he noticed the man, he passed by on the opposite side of the road.
  • 33However, a traveling Samaritan happened to come across the guy and took pity on him when he observed what he was doing.
  • Then he loaded the guy onto his own donkey and transported him to an inn, where he was cared for.
  • ‘Take good care of him,’ he said, adding that when he returned, he would compensate her for any additional expenses she had incurred.

Jesus told him,“Go and do likewise.”

New International Version (New International Version) In order to excuse himself, he inquired to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (And who is my neighbor? New Living Translation (New Living Translation) The guy sought to defend his acts by asking Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (And who is my neighbor?) Version standardized in English “And who is my neighbor?” he inquired of Jesus, wanting to establish his own righteousness. Berean Study Bible (also known as the Berean Study Bible) But, in an attempt to defend himself, he said of Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” The Literal Bible of the Bereans “And who is my neighbor?” he inquired of Jesus, seeking to establish his own righteousness.

The New King James Version (sometimes known as the New King James Version) was published in 1611.

The New American Standard Bible is a translation of the New Testament into English.

NASB (National Association of School Boards) 1995 But, in an attempt to defend himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” NASB 1977 (National Association of School Boards) But, in an attempt to defend himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” The Bible with an amplification system The man questioned Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” in an attempt to defend and vindicate his own actions.

The Christian Standard Bible is a translation of the Bible in the Christian tradition.

Nevertheless, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” in an attempt to excuse himself.

As a result, he inquired of Jesus, “Who are my neighbors?” The Bible of Douay-Rheims Nevertheless, he was eager to defend himself and asked Jesus: “And who is my neighbor?” Translation of the Good News However, the teacher of the Law desired to excuse himself, and so he inquired of Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” The International Standard Version (ISO) is a formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized In order to excuse himself, the man inquired of Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (And who is my neighbor?) Standard Version in its literal sense Then he inquired of Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” he replied, eager to establish his own righteousness.

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The New American Bible is a translation of the New Testament into English.

NET Bible is an abbreviation for Networked Information Technology.

However, in an attempt to excuse himself, he inquired of Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Weymouth The New Testament is a collection of writings that were written during the years of ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad ad When asked about the term “fellow man,” he responded with the question, “But what is meant by my ‘fellow man’?” The English Bible for the Whole World However, in an attempt to excuse himself, he inquired of Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Young’s Literal Translation of the Text And he asked Jesus, eager to establish his own righteousness, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ he questioned.

  1. Translations in addition to the above.
  2. 28 “You have given the proper response,” Jesus remarked.
  3. ” They stripped him naked, beat him, and then fled, leaving him half-dead on the ground.
  4. Luke 16:15 (NIV) As a result, He told them, “You are the ones who defend yourselves in front of others, but God knows what is in your hearts.
  5. The Scriptures are a treasure trove.
  6. willing.

Luke 18:9-11 (KJV) And he spoke this parable to those who believed in themselves that they were virtuous and hated others who did not believe in themselves: … Verse 34 of Leviticus 19 is a good example of a formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formalized formal In contrast, the alien who dwells with you must be to you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as oneself; for you were strangers in Egypt, and I, the LORD your God, have brought you back to your homeland.

  • And.
  • Matthew 5:43-44 (KJV) According to what you’ve heard, it’s important to love your neighbor and hate your opponent.
  • .
  • It is characteristic of him that he does not appear to have any reservations about his devotion to God.
  • However, there were reservations about the second commandment, and our Lord, perhaps sensing that there had been a tone of censure in his response, vindicates himself by asking the question, “Who is my neighbor?” (Who is my neighbor?
  • The 29th verse is a proverbial proverbial proverbial proverbial proverbial proverbial And who is my next-door neighbor?
  • He felt at comfortable in his conscience when it came to the first portion, his obligation towards God, at least as far as his wretched warped intellect could comprehend the concept.

To be sure, the Pharisee-conscience lawyer’s was at peace when it came to God!

On that particular day, he reflected on his actions towards that plain, truthful-looking Galilaean Rabbi, Jesus; attempting to trip him up with his words, wishing to cause him damage – injury to that worn-looking, loving Galilaean Rabbi.

Is Washe, by chance, his next-door neighbor?

Greek However, (de)ConjunctionStrong’s 1161: (de)ConjunctionStrong a fundamental particle; yet, and, and, and, etc.

Strong’s 1344: From the Greek dikaios, which means to render just or innocent.

he inquired εἶπεν(eipen) The Aorist Indicative Active tense is in the third person.

A fundamental verb, which means to talk or utter anything.

“Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord, and two other Israelites,” says SingularStrong’s 2424.

‘who(tis)’ is an interrogative / indefinite pronoun in the nominative masculine form.

It is most likely emphatic of tis; an interrogative pronoun, such as who, which, or what; and a question mark.

‘I am, exist,’ says SingularStrong in 1510.

myμου(mou) Possessive Personal Pronoun – Genitive Form 1st Person Pronoun SingularStrong’s 1473:I, the first-person pronoun, is a good example of this.

”πλησίον(plēsion) A neighbor is close by, nearby, or nearby in AdverbStrong’s 4139.

7 Ways to be a Good Neighbor in Christ

Being a nice neighbor may manifest itself in a plethora of various ways. If you ask a few people what it means to be a good neighbor, you’re likely to hear a dozen wonderful—and quite different—answers in response. Being a good neighbor in any season, let alone during a worldwide pandemic, brings a plethora of possibilities as well as difficulties. It’s critical to ask yourself: “Who is my neighbor?” Is there anything I need to do to be a good neighbor to others? What methods do I use to interact with others and share my faith in Christ with them?

Ultimately, we rely on God to instruct and equip us to be good neighbors in both speech and deed.

As part of our partnership with Moody Radio, we returned to the Word of God to give some fundamental teachings on how to be good neighbors.


Four biblical postures of a good neighbor

God commands us to love the Lord our God “with all our hearts, with all our souls,” and “with all our minds.” This is the very first and most important commandment. 22:37–38 (Matthew 22:37–38 (NIV) The foundation for being a good neighbor is to love God with all of our hearts, minds, and souls. The applications of this love are virtually limitless, yet He is the primary focus and beneficiary of our affection and devotion.

2. Love your neighbor as yourself

God commands us to love the Lord our God “with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all of our minds.” The first and most important commandment is this: “Do not kill.” 22:37–38, according to Matthew 22:37–38 (NIV) For us, loving God with all of our being is the beginning point for being a good neighbor. This love has countless applications, yet He is the primary focus and beneficiary of our affections.

3. Love your neighbor like Christ loved you

Jesus instructs His followers to love their neighbors as much as they love themselves (John 13:34). Just before the Passover festival, before He is betrayed by Judas and executed on the cross, Jesus raises the love we are to have for our neighbors by issuing a new command: “Love one another.” You must love one another in the same way that I have loved you. Those around you will recognize you as my disciples if you show compassion to one another.” The New International Version (NIV) of John 15:13 demonstrates Jesus’ mandate to love one another as He has loved us: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” said Shakespeare.

4. Be a Good Samaritan

With the response to the inquiry, “Who is my neighbor?” this fourth biblical position builds on the previous two. In Luke 10:25–37, Jesus is confronted with this topic by a legal scholar. As an answer, Jesus tells him the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-31). In the tale, a lowly Samaritan comes to the aid of a Jewish man who has been harmed and has been ignored by both a priest and a Levite. When the injured guy is taken to an inn, the good Samaritan pays for the victim’s further medical treatment and bandages his wounds.

was a neighbor?” According to the lawyer, the Samaritan was the one who showed mercy, despite his somewhat odd appearance. Jesus is instructing the lawyer that he must love everyone he comes across with the same compassion, charity, and generosity as the Samaritan demonstrated.

Three biblical practices of a good neighbor

You may practice being a good neighbor by praying for the individuals God has put in your life, whether it’s for a coworker, a friend, or your real next-door neighbor. The more you know about your neighbor, the more particular your prayers for them will be. Pray for them and their family, as well as for their work and health. In your prayers, ask God to bless them both physically and spiritually, and include Scriptures such as Ephesians 1:15–19 in your requests.

2. Inquire and listen (Luke 3:10-11, Matt. 25:44-45, Phil. 2:4)

The more you get to know your neighbor, the more deliberate you will be in your prayers for them, and vice versa. Inquire as to how I might pray for you. What areas of your life do you require support in? Will you tell me about the difficulties you’ve been experiencing? Simple inquiries enable people to share their experiences and needs by being open and honest. Invoke God for discernment so that you would know when to speak words of life and when to just listen. Prepare to follow in the footsteps of the Good Samaritan by showing the same compassion and readiness to go the extra mile to meet your neighbor’s needs.

3. Respond (2 Cor. 9:6-8, 1 Thess. 5:11, Prov. 19:17, Gal. 6:2, Heb. 13:16)

Rather than simply expressing sympathy for the injured man, the Good Samaritan attended to his bodily needs. It may not be your responsibility to meet all of your neighbor’s requirements, but merely delivering an encouraging word or a practical present might help to lessen many burdens for your friend. Remember Jesus’ words: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Whether being a good neighbor means offering words of encouragement or paying for a tank of gas, keep these words in mind: (Matt.

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Learning to do the Right Thing

Today, we read aloud from the New Testament a narrative that is quite known to all of us: the story of the Good Samaritan. A lawyer approaches Jesus and asks him a question with the intent of putting him to the test. “What am I supposed to do in order to inherit eternal life?” But Jesus, refusing to be confined to anyone else’s box, turns the tables on the lawyer and rebukes him. “Can you tell me what is written in the law?” “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your strength and with all of your thoughts,” the attorney responds.

Alternatively, “You have provided the correct response.

“And who exactly is my neighbor?” he inquires.

And, at the conclusion, Jesus challenges the lawyer to answer his own question for the second time in the same discourse.

And then Jesus tells them to “go and be like that.” “You now understand how to provide the correct response.” Today, I’d want to bring this tale to Westmont Institution, to those of us who have come here as students, teachers, and staff to a Christian liberal arts college to hear it for ourselves.

  • We have become familiar with the language.
  • We are familiar with the appropriate language, just as the lawyer in the tale was.
  • In a nutshell, we’ve come to Westmont because we already know the correct answer to the question.
  • If Jesus were here this morning, he may say to us something similar to what he said to the lawyer: “You have provided the correct response.
  • The ability to think clearly is essential.
  • You get the impression that the lawyer in Luke 10 was not a lightweight in terms of intelligence.
  • When I think of this, I think of a real-life discussion that I overheard between two Westmont University students.

“We already know that Jesus is the solution,” says one.

What is the purpose of studying chemistry?

What is the purpose of studying literature?

Honestly, I believe that if Jesus had been present, he would have encouraged the young men to attend class — and perhaps even requested to join them.

You must, however, investigate what it signifies.

It is only a beginning point, not an end goal in itself.

The New Testament is replete with reminders that, as Christians, we are called to be individuals who take initiative.

The words of Jesus, “How can you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things that I say?” are perhaps the most chilling reminder of this.

For the most part, on a Christian college campus, it is not difficult to get individuals very rapidly to the second step — the point of acting rather than thinking.

We have to admit that it is just more convenient, more enjoyable, and more moral to be out and about doing “good things” rather than sitting down to study.

Anything other than studying for the World Civ exam.” Now, of course, action is critical here as well.

In this case, my argument is that, even if our calling is to think, action may be extremely appealing and even tempting, or at the very least a diversion from our urgent call to do the right thing in the first place.

When I say that we should think before we act, I do not mean to imply that acting cannot be a method of acquiring new skills – after all, that is the whole goal of experiential learning.

Alternatively, we may say that if we love Jesus, we don’t actually need to know as much about a problem in order to be of assistance.

Herein lies the significance of the biblical idea of wisdom, the urge to recognize the need of being able to translate whatever knowledge we possess into the actual world in a way that is practical.

To be productive, we must be able to recognize when a situation requires certain knowledge and how to use that information in the most efficient manner.

Take, for example, persons who profess to know Jesus but who treat restaurant servers with complete disregard for their jobs.

Consider the occasions when you were unable to hear the reality of what your parents or friends were saying because of the tone of their voice or the timing of their words.

We must have eyes to observe circumstances in the world where the correct thinking is applicable, as well as intelligence to understand how it is applicable.

If we want to be truly effective agents of redemption in the world, if we want to take the command to love God and our neighbor with all of our hearts seriously, if we want Christ to be truly preeminent in our lives, we must take the time to learn what the call means in our current world’s circumstances.

We now have the opportunity and time in our lives to devote some focused attention to what it means to say that “Jesus is the answer,” or how to effectively mediate that answer into the world, and even into the churches of today, in a way that can be received and be transformative for those who hear it and believe it.

We must become better acquainted with him.

Before the lawyer could provide the appropriate response, he needed to understand what the phrases meant and how to use them.

Let’s take a look at what occurred to the lawyer throughout the course of the story’s presentation.

He had a more expansive understanding of the very truth he’d begun with.

Second, he had reached a realization that fundamentally altered the categories by which he had previously structured the universe.

The Good Samaritan was the hero of the story.

Westmont College has provided us with a location where we may think critically about problems and discover what it takes to find the correct answer.

This is the moment for us to have a more complete grasp of what it means for Jesus to be Lord, and what it means for Christ to be predominant in all things, in this generation.

This transitional period between knowing the “correct response” and actually implementing the “right answer” is also a period during which our categories are being altered.

In the same way that the lawyer’s culture created his perception of “neighbor” and who the “good people” are, our society has shaped who we are.

When we are at Westmont, our Good Samaritan narrative — the sighting that awakens us to a new feeling of “neighborhood” — may occur in a sociology or history class, respectively.

Alternatively, it might be on an athletic field.

You might wake up one day and realize that when Jesus speaks about loving your neighbor, he is referring to your new roommate, this person with whom you are sharing a space that is significantly smaller than either of your previous living arrangements.

The final stage, Westmont, is a time of coming up with new and imaginative applications of what it means to say that “Jesus is the answer” or that we want Christ to be the preeminent figure in all aspects of our lives.

She identified a void in which Christ’s lordship was not being completely acknowledged, and she has set out to fill that need in her community.

When the narrative was presented, it focused on the special sufferings of death-row convicts in a culture where shame is such a powerful force that most families just dissociate themselves from a death-row criminal well before the actual execution.

“Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me,” Christ said, and Japanese Christians interpreted it as meaning “just as you did it to one of the most vulnerable among you, you did it to me.” They were on their toes and on the lookout.

They looked for places in their world where they could demonstrate their obedience to those words.

They might have simply kept their eyes closed and passed past on the other side, completely unaware of what was going on.

Many of us have even agreed with that answer in terms of our own personal lives.

We do want Christ to be the most important person in our lives and in the world at the times when we are most thoughtful and at our best.

It is our hope that we can work with him to bring clarity and healing to a world that is filled with so much confusion and pain.

May we pay close attention to our education — to the story of the Good Samaritan.

Hopefully, we will come to realize and comprehend what it means in our world for us to place Christ first in everything.

Let us strive to be as profound as possible in our seeing and understanding so that Jesus might say to us, as he did to the lawyer so many years ago, “Now you are ready. Go ahead and ‘do’ the correct response, and you will live.”

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