Who's Your Neighbor
Who’s Your Neighbor
Who’s Your Neighbor
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, 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. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: 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. 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.
10:25 a certain legal expert One trained in the law of Moses; likely a Pharisee (see and note). to test him To entrap Jesus in argumentation for the purpose of discrediting Him (see and note). so that I will inherit eternal life The question here is different than the one asked in Matthew’s similar account, but it may reflect the same thinking (see and note). 10:26 in the law Since He is conversing with a legal expert, Jesus appeals to the law. 10:27 You shall love the Lord your God The lawyer’s answer parallels Jesus’ teaching in Matthew and Mark about the greatest commandments (; ). Compare ; ; . 10:28 Do this and you will live These commands reflect the heart of Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God: love of God and love of neighbor. 10:29 wanting to justify himself The legal expert seeks to support his claim to be righteous (perhaps only in his own mind) and presses Jesus to define the term “neighbor.” And who is my neighbor The legal expert’s question and his own answer in frame the parable of the Good Samaritan. 10:30 was going down The road from Jerusalem and Jericho dropped roughly 3,500 feet over about 10 miles. 10:31 a certain priest Refers to a religious leader of Israel. Priests performed sacrifices, maintained the temple, and provided instruction. he passed by on the opposite side Demonstrating his lack of compassion for the injured man. Since the priest was leaving Jerusalem (and likely the temple), it is unlikely that he was concerned primarily with matters of ritual purity. 10:32 Levite Refers to a member of the tribe of Levi. The Levites served in various functions in the temple. passed by on the opposite side See v. 31 and note. 10:33 Samaritan Jews and Samaritans despised each other (see note on 9:52). For Jesus’ audience, the idea of a good Samaritan would have been a contradiction. Samaritans The people of Samaria were of mixed Israelite and foreign descent, so the Jewish people did not accept them as part of the Jewish community (see note on ). The hostilities between Jews and Samaritans dated all the way back to the late sixth-century BC. The Samaritans worshiped Yahweh and used a version of the Pentateuch as their Scripture, but they worshipped on Mount Gerizim, not in Jerusalem. Thus the Samaritans were despised by Jews for both ethnic and religious reasons; there was mutual hatred by the Samaritans toward Jews. had compassion With a Samaritan playing the positive role—and a priest and Levite in negative roles—Jesus’ parable would have been shocking. It shows the extreme universality of the term “neighbor” and demonstrates the depths of mercy that should be extended to all people. 10:34 olive oil and wine To promote healing and prevent infection. 10:35 took out two denarii This amount of money would have paid for roughly two months in the inn, which might indicate the severity of the beaten man’s condition. 10:37 The one who showed mercy to him Jesus’ parable prompts the lawyer to consider what it means to be a neighbor to someone rather than how to identify who is to be considered a neighbor. This exchange is similar to Jesus’ earlier conversation with Simon the Pharisee (). You go and do likewise Jesus’ response implies that all people are to be treated as neighbors—with mercy and compassion. Conclusion: Bring it home!!!