“WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?”
∗ One of the most influential stories told by Jesus Christ is the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
∗ The lawyer among the crowd had asked, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responded by asking, “What is written in the law?”
∗ The man quoted two references from Deuteronomy 6 : 5 and Leviticus 19 : 18, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart … and thy neighbour as thyself.”
∗ Then Jesus promised, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live,”
∗ Then the man wanted to trap Jesus and so he replied, “And who is my neighbour?”
∗ In answer to this man’s question, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan.
JESUS, A GOOD STORY TELLER
∗ Jesus’ art of story telling is exemplary and preached often in parables because each has a deeper meaning.
∗ Superficially, it’s a nice story to hear. But it is understood only by those who have “ears to hear” (Matthew 13:9).
∗ The unbelievers did not understand His parables.
∗ But, his disciples are explained by Him plainly.
∗ Among the Parables of Jesus Christ, this is a masterpiece, brilliantly exposed the plan of salvation.
∗ It is a parable of an impressive allegory of the fall and the redemption of mankind.
THE ALLEGORICAL REPRESENTATION
∗ The allegory goes as follows:
∗ The man who was going down is Adam, who represents mankind.
∗ Jerusalem is the paradise, and Jericho is the world.
∗ The robbers are the satanic powers.
∗ The priest is the Law.
∗ The Levite is the prophets.
∗ The Samaritan is Christ.
∗ The wounds are disobedience.
∗ The beast is Christ’s body.
∗ The inn, which accepts all who wish to enter, is the Church.
∗ The manager of the inn is the head of the Church, to whom its care has been entrusted.
∗ And the Samaritan’s promises on his return, represents the Saviour’s Second Coming.
THE SHADOW OF GOD’S PLAN
∗ The parable of the Good Samaritan testifies of Christ.
∗ It teaches us of the plan of salvation, the Saviour’s atoning love, and our journey toward inheriting eternal life.
∗ It can be read as a story not only about a man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, but also about all who come down from the presence of God to live on earth.
∗ This meaning becomes most visible in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ restored through His latter-day prophets.
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. “ (John 5:39).
A CERTAIN MAN……
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves …”
∗ ‘A certain man’ refers to mankind, God created Man and he was Adam, which means ‘man or mankind.’
∗ Indeed, we all have come down as Adams and Eves, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22).
∗ The man was on a dangerous 18-mile stretch of road leaving from Jerusalem to Jericho.
∗ Jesus depicts the person as going down, not from any ordinary place, but from Jerusalem – the holy temple-city.
∗ The man went down intentionally, knowing the risks that would be involved in the journey.
∗ No one forced him to go down to Jericho.
∗ He apparently felt that the journey was worth the well-known risks of such travel on the poorly maintained roads in Jesus’ days.
∗ Allegorically, this person had come down from the presence of God, the descent of Adam from the garden into this world—from glory to the mundane, from immortality to mortality.
∗ So when he took up the journey from the Holy Temple city to the dangerous place, he was on the steep way down to Jericho, he had not yet reached the bottom. Yet, he fell among the robbers.
∗ The robbers are the satanic powers in this world.
∗ He was attacked by the robbers on the way before reaching Jericho.
∗ The attackers apparently wanted the traveller’s clothing, for no mention was made of any wealth or valuables he might be carrying.
∗ For some reason, the robbers seemed to be interested in his garment, something brought down from the holy place and something they envied and wanted to take away.
∗ The traveller’s garment is a symbol for mankind’s loss of immortality and incorruptibility.
∗ Its the loss of “his robe of immortality” or “robe of obedience.”
∗ Here it very much reminds us of Adam and Eve’s disobedience and loss of immortality.
∗ The traveller being “stripped of the covering of spiritual grace, which we all received from God.”
∗ The man was left “half dead” because the demons cannot kill us; they can only wound us.
∗ The wounds represent our sins.
Reference to Jericho:
A town in Palestine, in the West Bank north of the Dead Sea, which has been occupied from at least 9000 BC. According to the Bible, Jericho was a Canaanite city destroyed by the Israelites after they crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land; its walls were flattened by the shout of the army and the blast of the trumpets.
The name Jericho may mean City Of The Moon . And of course, the authors of the Bible probably were very much aware that they gave Jericho its two different names, suggesting that this city was known for both moon worship and fragrances.
At more than 825 feet (250 m) below sea level, Jericho is the lowest city on earth. Its mild winter climate made it a hedonistic resort area, where Herod had built a sumptuous vacation palace.
THE FIRST PASSER-BY……..
“And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. (Luke 10:31)
∗ The priest represents the law.
∗ The arrival of the Jewish priest was “by chance,” not the result of a conscious search.
∗ His presence there was not by anyone’s plan.
∗ The priest symbolises the law of Moses.
∗ The priesthood did not want to help fallen man.
∗ The law of Moses did not have the power to save him.
∗ Indeed, the law of Moses was only a type and shadow of the atonement that was yet to come, not in its full efficacy.
THE SECOND PASSER-BY……..
“And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.” (Luke 10 : 32)
∗ The Levite represents the prophets.
∗ The Levite was seen as representing the Old Testament prophets, whose words the Lord came to fulfil. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17.)
∗ A lesser class of priests, the Levites did chores in the temple.
∗ At least this Levite came close to helping; he “came” and saw.
∗ He might have wanted to help, but perhaps he viewed himself as too lowly to help; he also lacked the power to save the dying person.
There are two interpretations to the actions of the priest and the Levite.
1. One is immediately obvious, and is unfortunately the only meaning many people assimilate – Of course, the lack of charity of the two men is apparent. They passed by because if the man died, when they were touching him, they would have been ritually unclean, and would have had to go to an extensive ritual of washing and purification according to the law.
2. The other meaning is much more profound. – The law and prophets can teach and guide, but they cannot save; only God can save. That is the reason why these two “passed by on the other side” – none of their ministrations would be able to save human nature wounded by sin. Also note that they came to the man “by chance”.
THE THIRD PASSER-BY…….
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him …” (Luke 10:33)
∗ The Samaritan is a representation of Christ.
∗ As he journeyed, the Samaritan (representing Christ) was purposely looking for people in need of help.
∗ That’s why its mentioned ” came where he (the wounded man) was.”
∗ He didn’t arrive by happenstance.
∗ Christ’s love for us is immeasurable and incomprehensible.
∗ Similarly, the Samaritan’s was moved with deep, inner sympathy.
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (Luke 10:34)
∗ The bandages represented love, faith, and hope, which lead us to salvation and cannot be undone.
∗ It can also be viewed as Christ’s teachings, which bind us to righteousness.
∗ Latter-day Saints would add that the rescued person is bound to the Lord through covenants.
∗ Oil is very soothing, when we apply it on our body. It takes away the dryness and cools down the body.
∗ In the same way, the Word of Christ deprives the dryness of our lives and leads us purposefully with wisdom.
∗ In the Holy Bible we come across the “holy anointing”—which may refer to several priesthood ordinances, the healing of the sick – “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. (James 5:14), the gift of the Holy Ghost (often symbolised by olive oil), or the anointing of a king or a queen.
∗ The Samaritan also poured wine onto the open wound to cleanse it.
∗ Wine is associated with the blood of Christ, symbolised by the sacrament.
27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”(Matthew 26:27–29)
∗ In addition to the physical help, a good Samaritan administers in saving the souls of the sinners according to the ordinances of the gospel.
∗ This wine, the atoning blood, washes away the sins and purifies the soul, allowing God’s Spirit to be with us.
∗ Set him on his own beast, which is the body Christ, bears our infirmities by fulfilling prophecy.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4).
∗ Inn, for the inn symbolises the Church. An “inn” is “a public house open to all.”
∗ A public shelter is comparable to the Church of Christ in several ways.
∗ A wayside inn is not the heavenly destination, but a necessary aid in helping travellers reach their eternal home.
∗ The Samaritan stayed with the injured person and cared for him personally the first night.
∗ He did not turn the injured person over too quickly to the innkeeper, but stayed with him through the dark hours.
∗ Jesus cares for the wounded “not only during the day, but also at night. He devotes all his attention and activity to him.”
ON THE MORROW
“And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” (Luke 10: 35)
∗ “On the morrow when he departed” represents the Ascension of Jesus Christ.
∗ After His Ascension, He left the traveller to be cared for by the Church.
∗ The “host” (or innkeeper) represents as Paul or the other Apostles and their successors.
∗ If the inn refers to the Church in general, however, the innkeeper and his staff can represent all Church leaders and workers who are entrusted by the Lord to nurture and care for any rescued sou,l who seeks healing.
∗ The “two pence” represents the reward we will receive for fulfilling God’s commands.
∗ “When I come again” refers the Second coming, and the Final Judgement.
WHO IS OUR NEIGHBOUR?
“So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?” (Luke 10 : 36)
∗The lawyer, without being able to say the word “Samaritan,” nevertheless identifies the Samaritan as the true neighbour.
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”(Luke 10 : 37)
∗ The command to love our neighbours crosses ethnic, religious, and national boundaries.
∗ For most Jews, a neighbour was another Jew, not a Samaritan or a Gentile.
∗ Jesus commands us to love everyone as we love ourselves, including those whom we consider as our enemies.
Lord, as per your commandments, let’s love the Lord as our God with all our hearts and soul and with all our mind. Let’s love our neighbour as ourselves and with these two commandments we fulfil all the laws and prophets and prepare our way to inherit Your eternal Kingdom. Amen.
Glory be to God
(Thanking the Bible Scholars who have influenced me)