Jesus was constantly having arguments and many of those arguments have changed the world. In the parable of the good Samaritan he defends the relevance of the ancient word of God in Leviticus and we learn that how we treat the disadvantaged is the true measure of a person and a nation. [Audio | Notes]
For further thought
The context of the parable of the good Samaritan is the successful mission of the 72 whose Jesus had sent out to bring the good news about him to the towns and villages of Galilee (10:13-14). An expert in the law interrupts the joy (NIV 10:25 ’One one occasion’ is not in the original) of people receiving the Kingdom of God as a gift from Jesus with the question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Q: Read the earlier part of chapter 10 – what did people have to do to receive the good news of the Kingdom during the mission?
Jesus answers the request for something to do by referring the law expert back to the scripture lessons he would have learnt as a boy (10:27 – Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18) but the lawyer calls Jesus’ interpretation of the law into question in order to justify himself.
Q: How has Jesus deeply challenged the efforts of the lawyer to justify his own life and do what is worthy of eternal life?
Q: Are our love of God and neighbour the cause of our life with God or a sign of the gift of life God has given us?
Jesus’ point about the Samaritan is that any of us could be the beaten man in the parable.
Q: How is the Samaritan’s sacrifice reflected in Jesus sacrifice for us all?