The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Passage: Luke 10:25–10:37
Big Picture: The passage’s themes are ethical and practical. One should be a neighbour by showing compassion to anyone in need. Being a neighbour does not make distinctions in offering care. Compassion may involve time and sacrifice. The issue is not to define who the neighbour is, or to seek to do the minimum one can do - this is a simply a call to be a neighbour.
Point # 1: Questions about inheriting eternal life (10:25–28)
a. The lawyer’s question (10:25)
b. Jesus’ question (10:26)
c. The lawyer’s reply: the great commandment—love God and neighbour (10:27)
d. Jesus’ commendation (10:28)
Point # 2: Call to be a neighbour: the exemplary Samaritan (10:29–37)
a. The lawyer’s question about neighbours: who IS my neighbour (10:29)?
b. The parable of the priest, Levite, and compassionate Samaritan (10:30–35)
c. Jesus’ question about the neighbour: to whom must I BE a neighbour (10:36)?
d. The lawyer’s recognition of the Samaritan (10:37a)
e. Jesus’ command to do like the Samaritan (10:37b)*
* A modification of Bock, D. L. (1996). Luke: 9:51–24:53 (Vol. 2, p. 1021). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Two critical principles in assessing our responsibility to the poor and helpless*
- Principle 1: We are most responsible to help those closest to us.
- Principle 2: We are most responsible to help those least able to help themselves.
*Kevin DeYoung, “Obligation, Stewardship and the Poor”