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Blind Jesus

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Blind Jesus

Luke 10:25–37 ESV
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Luke 10:25 ESV
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
This was a test on the part of this lawyer, the expert in the law.. He wanted to “test” Jesus, which possibly indicates he is hostile to him.
he is not asking about eternal life, he is testing Jesus.
Luke 10:26 ESV
26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”
Note, Jesus does not affirm the assumption behind the question, he points this man with a question back to the law, the commandments. This was this man’s specialty, after all.
Luke 10:27 ESV
27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
The ultimate answer to this question will be based on what one does, not on what one knows.
Luke 10:28 ESV
28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
He gave the correct answer… this does not mean that he has grasped what it means…only that he’s given the textbook answer.
Luke 10:29 ESV
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Notice, the man is actually wanting to limit his responsibility with this question. Who do I have to be nice to? Who exactly is my neighbor?
Luke 10:30 ESV
30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.
17 mile trip. Robbers. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Luke 10:31–32 ESV
31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:33–36 ESV
33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”
Here is Jesus’ ultimate counter question… vs. 36.
It forces the “lawyer”, the expert in the law, to voice his own decision. Jesus’ reverses the man’s question.
The focus is no longer on the object of the neighborly love, but on the subject… the Samaritan who made himself a neighbor.
Love is not limited by the object of one’s love.
The quality and the extent of love are in control of the giver.
Love is demonstrated by action… and act of mercy.
Remember Matthew 5.7
Matthew 5:7 ESV
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Mercy comes with a cost. cloth, wine, oil, transportation, money, sacrifice of time.
Jesus has just shaken up this Jewish man’s preconceptions. He could have made the jewish victim as a good person and the samaritan as an evil one.
To this Jew there was no such thing as a “good” Samaritan.
Luke 10:37 ESV
37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
When this man asked the original question, he asked “what must I do?” Jesus now answers the question.
GO AND DO LIKEWISE.
You see, this man needed to learn that God does not give the kingdom to those who reject the command to love.
The rich young ruler needed to learn this. He asked what he must do, in Matthew 18:18-25, to inherit eternal life. Jesus said … the law… he said he’s done that.
What was missing? Jesus said, sell all you have and give to the poor.... do an act of love, of mercy. and see what the scripture says...
Luke 18:22–23 ESV
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.
GO AND DO LIKEWISE.
Many of us, like the rich young ruler and this lawyer who has come to Jesus in the parable before us, have to learn the basic fact.
When we reject the commandment to love others we have not truly recognized how much we need the love of God ourselves.
Remember the story in Luke 7.36-50, the woman who was a sinner came into the house where Jesus was and began to wash his feet and anoint them with oil. The Pharisees went nuts, didn’t they?
And Jesus uses her presence to teach a basic principle...
he says to simon, she washed my feet, my head, and has kissed me… YOu’ve done none of that. Her sins are forgiven.....
Luke 7:47 ESV
47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
.........
This expert in the law asked a question… who is my neighbor, and Jesus reversed the question.
Have you been a neighbor?
bottom line:

The Image of God in You is Best Viewed Through Your Neighbors Glasses

Luke 10:36–37 ESV
36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
I want you to look for a moment at this last 2 communications between Jesus and this lawyer.
Jesus askes a simple question… which of these three proved to be a neighbor to the man?
And the man answers, “The one who showed him mercy.”
do you notice anything? How about the fact that in his answer, the man could not say the word, “Samaritan”. He could not bring himself to say the word, “Samaritan”.
If Jesus had asked, “Who didn’t do what they should have done?” The answers would have been like this:
The priest must have made a mistake.
The Levite must have been going home from choir practice and didn’t have time, or he had to get up in the morning.
But the question wasn’t “Who didnt do what they should have done?” The question was, “Who proved to be a neighbor?”
And that is a WHO question… WHO?
Our answers are generally “why” .... because they are excuses. aren’t they?
But the question is “Who?” And the simple answer was “Samaritan.” But we couldn’t get to that… because the anwer was, “The one who showed mercy.”
You see, the problem was that this lawyer wasn’t avoiding who did right… he was avoiding the right thing to do.
And that’s where we find the problem in this passage. We so often want to look at ourselves and judge if we are doing the “right” thing. And generally, if that is how we do it, we will probably always do the right thing… because we are looking through our own rose colored glasses about ourselves.
And that is when we become blind Jesus. We don’t look… we don’t see… we just believe our own lie about ourselves because it makes us feel good. Doesn’t it?
And yes, like the priest and the Levite, we are leaving church and patting ourselves on the back that we’ve done a good thing today. And we are ignoring those laying near dead on the ground all around us.
And it is going to take someone who is willing to step up to the plate and become a Samaritan, someone who is going against the grain, someone who can see not just the need… but what the needy see in us.
Someone who doesn’t believe their own press… but is willing to honestly look through their neighbors eyes and see what they see.
Because if all they see are stained glass windows and all they hear are the bells of a carillon and the faint sound of an organ on Sunday morning.... all they see is you.
but you don’t see them.
But when they see people willing to extend mercy and speak words of love… they will see Jesus.
Because you saw them.

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