Luke Chapter 10
Part Two: Parable of the Good Samaritan
Read Luke 10:25-37
This parable was spoken in response to a lawyer. He was probably among those who worked hard to follow the law (and traditions) in a way that could be visible to those around him—an external display of obedience—like the Pharisees. This passage tells us that he was putting Jesus to the test, and later, he was wishing to justify himself. Certainly not just anyone could be considered a neighbor!
Verses 31-32—The priest and the Levite
These represent the religious leaders. They were more concerned about keeping the ceremonial law than they were with keeping the "law of mercy" (love your neighbor as yourself). Had they shown mercy and touched this man to help him, they would have to go through a cleansing ritual (because by touching him, they would have made themselves unclean). This would have been such an inconvenience!
Read James 1:27—Note this does not say anything about rule keeping, but it does imply the extension of mercy to our neighbors
Verse 33—a Samaritan—remember, they were not liked by the Jews
—the fact that a Samaritan did the right thing would have angered the Jewish listeners. Compare this to Luke 4:25-28 (the stories of the prophets extending mercy to these Gentiles angered the Jews to whom Jesus was speaking)
—the fact that Jesus brings salvation to all people—Gentiles, "sinners" (in the eyes of the Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers—like the woman at Jesus' feet in chapter 7)—this caused a stumbling block to many in Israel, preventing them from believing in Jesus
Read I Corinthians 1:23