Character of Jesus 47

The Character of Jesus 47

The Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25 – 37

Consistency

  • Characteristic: Consistency
    • (25)  Because the lawyer’s question included “eternal life,” he likely was a Pharisee, unless he were a Sadducee, who did not believe in eternal life other than through descendants, and was trying to trap Jesus (as in Matthew 22, 23 – 33, the woman who married seven brothers).  However, the phrasing was more like that of a Pharisee.
    • (26)  Jesus asked for the questioner’s ideas rather than answering outright.
    • (27)  The lawyer cited Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, much as Jesus would say later in Matthew 22:36 – 40 and Mark 12:28 – 34.
    • (28)  Jesus immediately shifted from theory to practice.
    • (29)  Interestingly, the lawyer did not ask about what it meant to love, but rather on the definition of neighbor.
    • (30)  This road is 18 miles long and descends 3500 feet.  No towns are in the interval, only inns, because it is too steep for a good townsite.  Being open country, it was well known for many centuries to be fraught with thieves.
    • (31)  A priest is of the tribe of Levi and of the sub-tribe of Aaron.  They were the only ones to officiate at the Temple.  Exodus 23:4 – 5 and Deuteronomy 22:1 – 4, 23:3 – 4 require helping.
    • (32)  Levites did the background work of the Temple, plus were charged with teaching the people in their hometowns the tenets of the Law.
    • (33)  The ethnic animosity between Samaritans and Jews was legendary.
    • (34 – 36)  Two denarii were the equivalent of two days’ pay for a common laborer.  The bill may have become greater if the injured man took longer to be able to travel.
    • (37)  The lawyer had no choice but to answer as he did.  Jesus cemented the application by telling him to “do.”  The point of the law was not theory but practice.
  • Application: Consistency
    • Churches still focus on the same question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  How might one answer this in a sentence of two?  Are modern answers much different from that of this lawyer?
    • Jesus told the lawyer to “do,” twice, meaning that he should act on his love for God and neighbor.  Are church-goers encouraged to act out their love or to seek the desired reward?
    • Jesus told this parable to illustrate appropriate action resulting from loving a neighbor.  We assume that people were not being consistent in this area of acting out their love.  What theoretical doctrines today fail to come to fruition?
    • Do modern churches (like Judaism of Jesus’ time) miss the reasons and focus on the actions?