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TWO LESSONS FROM THE GOOD SAMARITAN

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Dr. Christopher L. Cagan
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, November 10, 2019

“Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:36-37; p. 1089 Scofield).


These words from Jesus come at the end of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Why did He give this parable? A Pharisee tempted Jesus when he asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25; p. 1088). Jesus said, “What is written in the law?” (Luke 10:26). The Pharisee answered by saying,

“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).

Jesus said, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (Luke 10:28). Dr. MacArthur was right on this particular point when he said, “‘Do and live’ is the promise of law. But since no sinner can obey perfectly, the impossible demands of the law are meant to drive us to seek [God’s] mercy…This man should have responded with a confession of his own guilt, rather than self-justification” (John MacArthur, D.D., The MacArthur Study Bible, Word Bibles, 1997, p. 1535; note on Luke 10:28).

But the Pharisee, wanting to justify himself, “said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29). Jesus answered him by giving the parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable is quite simple, but it has at least two profound lessons.

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I. The first lesson is that Jesus Himself is the Good Samaritan.

In the parable a Jewish man is traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. This is a distance of about seventeen miles. It was well known as a dangerous road, full of thieves and robbers. A gang of thieves sprang out of the shadows and grabbed him. They stole his clothing. They wounded him. They left him half dead. A priest saw him lying by the road. The priest passed by on the other side of the road. Later a Levite came and looked at him. He also passed by on the other side. Finally, a Samaritan came,

“And when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 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. 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 10:33-35; p. 1089).

In this parable Jesus Himself is the Good Samaritan. The Samaritans were considered an evil people by the Jews. That is why the Samaritan woman said to Jesus,

“How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9; p. 1119).

Jesus was not a Samaritan. But the Pharisees called him one. They said, “Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil” (John 8:48; p. 1127). They said that He was demon possessed. They said He preached false religion, like the Samaritans. Dr. Gill said that Jesus was called a Samaritan “by the Jews (John 8:48) and was treated as such by [many of] them. [Yet He was] the best neighbour and friend of men, though he was traduced [slandered by them] as a Samaritan” (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the New Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, volume I; note on Luke 10:33).

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him” (Luke 10:33).

“As he journeyed, came where he was.” Dr. Gill said this pictures Christ coming down from Heaven and taking on “human nature,” coming down to the world in His incarnation to save sinners.

Dr. Gill said that the man who was beaten and robbed represents mankind in its fallen state, ruined and depraved by sin. So, Christ came to die on the Cross. He shed His Blood, to save ruined sinners, “and also in their regeneration and conversion, for the great things…done for them by him, are owing to his compassion and love for them” (Gill, ibid.). Everything the Good Samaritan did for this dying man can be summed up in the words of the Apostle,

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15; p. 1274).

So, that is the first lesson: Jesus Himself is the Good Samaritan. He came to save you by His Blood and righteousness. He came to save you from death, and judgment for your sin, and from the fire of Hell.

Notice that the priest and the Levite “passed by on the other side” of the road. This shows that “religion” cannot save you. The religious teachers of the world cannot help you. Jesus, the Son of God, is the only one who can do you any good. He alone is the Good Samaritan. That is the first lesson.

II. The second lesson is that we should follow the example of Jesus.

Christ said to the Pharisee,

“Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:36-37; p. 1089).

Jesus told the Pharisee, “Go, and do thou likewise.” As Dr. MacArthur correctly said, “No sinner can obey [this] perfectly.” But when a man has been saved by Jesus, and is born again, he is enabled by God to follow the example of Christ. Christ left

“us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (I Peter 2:21; p. 1313).

One of the tests of whether a person has been converted is this – can he follow the example of Jesus? Can you “Go, and do…likewise”? (Luke 10:37). Can you care for people? Can you invite people to church? Can you take the time to bring them? Can you be kind to them when they come? Or are you, like the Pharisee and Dr. Chan, only interested in yourself and your own little circle of friends? That’s what Chan’s group is all about – their own little circle of friends. They have no love or care for the lost.

All Chan’s group can do is mechanical machinery. They invite people to a party, but they don’t tell them about Jesus. They don’t tell people how Jesus died on the Cross to pay for their sins. They don’t tell people how they can be saved forever, sure of going to Heaven when they trust Jesus. They just hope that some of them will come to their party.

But they don’t treat people like people! They treat people like numbers and machines. Each person is a name and number on a piece of paper – to be processed like numbers in a computer. But they really don’t care for the lost. They really only care about their own circle of friends. That’s why they don’t win anybody from the world. Why would anyone come into that?

Don’t be like them! Treat people like they’re people – for they are! Tell them that Jesus loves them and died for them! Talk to each person. Be friendly. Be nice. Tell them they can go to Heaven if they trust Jesus. Invite them to church – tell them it’s church – and bring them yourself! Talk to them. Take time with them. Love them! You don’t need to bring in a list of impersonal numbers! Bring one person! Bring one person!

Please stand and sing hymn number 8, “Bring One In.”

Bring one in, Bring one in,
   Bring one in from the fields of sin;
Bring one in, Bring one in,
   Bring the wandering one to Jesus.
(“Bring Them In” by Alexcenah Thomas, 19th century;
     altered by Dr. Hymers).

And may God bless you as you do it! Amen.


THE OUTLINE OF

TWO LESSONS FROM THE GOOD SAMARITAN

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Dr. Christopher L. Cagan

“Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:36-37).

(Luke 10:25, 26, 27, 28, 29)

I.    The first lesson is that Jesus Himself is the Good Samaritan,
Luke 10:33-35; John 4:9; 8:48; I Timothy 1:15.

II.   The second lesson is that we should follow the example of Jesus,
Luke 10:36-37; I Peter 2:21.