Saturday, November 19, 2011

How Do You Teach The Good Samaritan?

The story of The Good Samaritan teaches us that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. It's a great and important message. It's the 2nd most important command. Jesus told the lawyer to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and then to love your neighbor as yourself.

So, Jesus was telling the lawyer just needed to be good and be kind to his neighbor? Sure, Jesus taught that message, but that wasn't the purpose of the story. In Luke 10, the lawyer comes to Jesus, asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells the man of the two laws that must be obeyed. The man, knowing he had not obeyed the second law, asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" because he wanted to be justified by the law. He was hoping to find his salvation in his good works, but he knew he had not been good enough. He had failed to obey the second law.

The main reason Jesus told the story was not to show that we are to love our neighbor. Jesus was showing the lawyer his sinful state. He was exposing him to his depravity. Jesus was saying, "You are a sinner, and you need me. You cannot perfectly follow the law. If you were sinless, you would have eternal life."

We get caught up in the commands of the Bible. We strive to do and live righteously. We work and work, but we forget the most important part: we are sinners who need Jesus. We are depraved and have a need for salvation to be reconciled to God. Our focus is turned on ourselves, our failures, or our good works. It is important for us to turn our eyes to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He should be the focus of The Good Samaritan. The story should remind us that we are sinners incapable of saving ourselves. We need Jesus Christ.

No comments: