The Perfect Samaritan

It never struck me, the many times that I had heard or read Jesus’ parable of the good Samaratin, to what a great extent this man went for a complete stranger–a would be enemy (for Samaratins had no dealings with Jews, John 4). I had often considered how we are to love our neigbors (which is impossible unless we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ) but when I read this account a few weeks ago I was stuck by something I had not noticed before.
Jesus tells this parable to a self-righteous religious man who wanted to find a loophole in God’s Law–in regard to who his neighbor was. This man wanted Jesus to tell him the neighbors that he was supposed to love were simply the people that he surrounded himself with (those who he was like)–perhaps those Jews who thought they were lawkeepers by thier own works of obedience–or perhaps just his immediate neighbors (i.e. those who lived in direct proximity to him). Regardless, Jesus’ answer is much more searching than any of us could wish. The Lord tells this man the story of a man who was attacked by some robbers as he travelled on the road. Then Jesus tells us that two prominent religious leaders came by and both passed by this man without the least regard for his well-being. Finally a Samaritan came by a saw the man and had compassion on him.
What struck me as I read through the account this time was the extent to which the Samaritan helped this wounded man. The Scripture says “he had compassion.So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.
This Samaritan’s heart was moved with compassion for this wounded man, he went to bandage his wounds (probably bloodied) and he used oil and wine–which were not cheep in that day–to cleanse and fix his wounds. Then he put the man on his own animal while he walked to an inn–maybe not very close by–and made accomidations for the man. Now that may seem like it would be a far sufficient act of mercy, simply to have dressed this man’s wounds and to have carried him to an inn for a good nights sleep. But then Jesus tells us that the Samaritan satyed the night at the inn–most likely to keep a watch on the man personally. In the morning we are told that he took out a considerable amount of money (Two denarii was alot of money then) and he made sure that someone would be able to take care of the wounded man. Finally–and this is perhaps the best part–he promises to return to see the man and find out what had become of him, and also to see if there were any other expenses that he had to pay. For a stranger! How could this be? Who would ever do such a thing? I don’t know anyone who would ever go to that extent for someone that they didn’t even know. I can’t really say that I know anyone who would go to that extent for someone that they did know!
Well there is One who went to such an extent for His enemies. The Lord Jesus Christ left the glories of heaven, and the praises that were due to Him, in order to heal the wounds we had received from our sins. He was wounded for our sin and He was bruised for our transgressions of God’s law. Instead of pouring oil and wine out on us, He poured His blood out anf then He poured His Spirit out on us. Instead of putting us on his animal and carrying us to an inn, He took us up in His everlasting arms and carried us to the house of His Father. Instead of leaving us with an innkeeper, he gave us Pastors who would care for us. Instead of simply leaving money with them to watch over us, He gave us of all the riches in heaven–an inheritance incorruptable, undefiled and that does not fade away reserved for us in heaven. Finally, instead of just returning to see how we were, He is coming again to give us that full redemption so that we might be with Him where He is. This is amazing love. This is the love of God in Christ. This is the love that we must pray more and more to have in our hearts for others. But let us remember that it is only the death of Christ that can save us from our sins. We can never love like this until we believe that we have been loved by Christ.

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