October 26, 2012
The passage of Luke 10:25-36 is an essential story because it applies to every Christian today the same way, but in order for us to follow the example Jesus made, we must first understand what the story would have meant to the Jews in Jesus’ time. The first step in understanding the story of the Good Samaritan is to understand the relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans of the time. The Samaritans were considered unclean by the Jews, because they saw the Samaritans as a corruption of God’s chosen people, therefore the Jews were not supposed to make contact with the Samaritans whatsoever. Not only were the Samaritans considered unclean, the Jews would have seen them as hostile to themselves. The conflict began around the time when the Northern Kingdom was captured by the Assyrians. The Jews had been deported, and they began to intermarry with people from other cultures and religions. The people who the Jews were married to, began to worship the Jews’ God, but they would not give up their idols so the other Jews tried to force them to be divorced, and when they wouldn’t, they took on the name of Samaritans. With this known, the parable of the Good Samaritan can be understood a little better.
The passage begins with a lawyer asking Jesus two questions, the first of which is essential to Jesus’ teaching His intended meaning of the Old Testament “love command” in Leviticus 19:18. The lawyer who questions Jesus is told to be the expert in the law, which is seen in verse 37, and Jesus is referred to as the Rabbi. This means that the lawyer could have been trying to cause Jesus to trip himself over his words, but it is also very likely that he was only trying to have Jesus interpret the meaning of the love command. Jesus answered by testing the lawyer’s ability by asking him to recite the love command, which he does successfully and recites the law as it relates to love for God, and one’s neighbor. The...
Bibliography: 1. Gaebelein, Frank. The Expositors Bible Commentary: Volume 8. Grand Rapids, Zndervan: 1984.
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