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Who do I have to love?

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Preface: The lawyer/scholar is seeking to justify himself (“looking for a loophole” - Peterson’s paraphrase of v. 29)

I. Explaining the parable

Scene 1 – The man is beat up and left for dead (v. 30)

Scene 2 – The priest and the Levite separate themselves from the man (v. 31-32)

* Why do we find ourselves angry and disappointed at the actions of the religious professionals?

Scene 3 – The hero is the one least expected to provide compassion (v. 33-35)

-          The Samaritan in the story is well-translated into an Arab cab driver in the film.

o        Note the looks of suspicion that the Arab character continually received in the film

Conclusion: The “neighbor-ness” of someone is not defined by ethnicity or theological correctness, but by your availability to meet their need (v. 36-37)

II. Applying the parable

What keeps us from, “go and do likewise”?

-          We count certain people or groups as being foreign to us (not our neighbors).

o        Prayer project: Spend time this week meditating on the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Ask the Lord to show you what groups you substitute for “Samaritan” in your mind as ineligible for your love, and ask Him to change your heart toward them.

-          We hide our eyes from seeing needs (physical, emotional, spiritual, etc.) of people we come in contact with.

o        Project: Pray in a public place (park, mall, etc) that the Lord will show you one opportunity this week to meet someone’s need as Jesus would if he were living your life. 

-          We don’t allow margins in our schedule and/or budget to meet needs as they arise.

o        Project #1: Arrive early this week somewhere where a need might arise that you can meet (small group, work, meeting, etc).  Make yourself available to the Lord and people.

o        Project #2: Create bags of love with resources to give to those in need that you can keep in your car (water bottle, granola bar, piece of fruit, etc)

-          Fear of being used, injured, or made to look foolish.

o        Project: Talk with a wise friend about whether your fears are reasonable or excessive.  Seek out ways that you can be a catalyst for group action on behalf of needs you see.


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