“Search me, God know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Psa. 139:23).
Read Luke 10:25–37
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
a Luke 10:27 Deut. 6:5
b Luke 10:27 Lev. 19:18
c Luke 10:35 A denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see Matt. 20:2).
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn this passage we see Jesus, the one who sees past the surface question to what was truly in the hearts of those who questioned him.
Here we have two questions, different motivations, although neither is flattering to the enquirer. The first is motivated by a desire to test Jesus (25). It’s a good question but it’s staged to try to expose Jesus’ faulty knowledge of the Law. The second reflects the questioner’s need to make himself look and feel better: he wanted to “justify” himself (29).
It’s not worth speculating about the lawyer’s state of mind except that he is more interested in proving his point than in listening to Jesus. And Jesus offers a very clear response. He joins two commandments from the Law and says this represents all that God requires of everybody. The first command is found in Deuteronomy 6:5; one that was and still is recited twice daily by pious Jews. In all likelihood, this would have been part of Jesus’ daily prayer life. The second is taken from Leviticus 19:18 and Jesus elevates it to the same status as the other command. Love God and love others fully—that is the essence of being a disciple.
Luke 10:27, Mark 12:29–31 and Matthew 22:37–40 are Jesus’ summary of discipleship. Memorize, recite and practice these words daily.
Lord, “see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139:24).
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