Good Samaritan - Part 3

Opening Prayer

 God, give us the courage and strength we need to do what you ask of us.

Read: Luke 10:25-37 (NIV)

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

 

Reflect

After Jesus tells this heart-wrenching parable, He asks the expert in v. 36, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” The expert answers, “The one who had mercy on him.” The good Samaritan stopped what he was doing and bent down to help a stranger with compassion. He quit his agenda. In v. 34-35 it says that the Samaritan bandaged this stranger’s wounds with his own oil and wine. He used his own donkey to take the man to an inn and paid for any treatment that he could need. The Samaritan, a social outcast, loves whole-heartedly. He loves without pretense. He loves without expecting anything in return. He loves without prejudice. He loves the man as he loves himself. At the end of the story, Jesus says to the people something so incredibly simple, but something we should take deep into our heart and lives. “Go and do likewise.”

 

Apply

How do you love those around you?  Are you loving them as you love yourself?

 

Closing Prayer

Father, let us love as you loved us-without pretense and without expecting anything in return. You gave us everything and we thank you.

Good Samaritan - Part 2

Opening Prayer:     

Lord, open our eyes. Let us see what you see.

 

Read: Luke 10:25-37 (NIV)

 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

 

Reflect

The parable of the good Samaritan is one of disappointments and help coming from unlikely places. Once the man traveling was robbed, beaten, and left to die, I remember rooting for those who began to walk by. “Help him! Be the one to stop!” I would think. Of course, the priest would stop. No. Well of course the Levite, someone who was so religious, would stop. No again. I was disappointed when the man was passed by, again and again. Would anyone stop to have mercy? Finally, a Samaritan sees the man and does not pass by. He takes pity on him. Those who we expected to help did not. But a Samaritan, one considered impure by race and religious practice, bent down and had pity. I can imagine him lifting the man out of a pool of his own blood, breathing shallow, face twisted in pain, and leading him to a safe place. The priest and the Levite both saw the man, but they didn’t really see him. What they did each time was pass by. Their hearts were not open. But the Samaritan, someone considered inferior, had his eyes open to see his neighbor in need.

Apply

 Who are we passing by in our daily lives?

Closing Prayer

Dear Father, let us not pass by the ones whom you love so much. Let us bend down to help and have mercy.

Good Samaritan

Opening Prayer

 Father, may our hearts be wide open for the Spirit to convict and lead us.

Read:  Luke 10:25-37 (NIV)

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Reflect

              In this passage, we find the well-known parable of the good Samaritan. Someone who is an expert in the law asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responds in v. 26, as he does so often, with a question. “What is written in the law?” The man answers correctly. He says the law tells us to love our God with all that we are and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Since the expert already knew the answer, why did he ask? Something interesting happens in v. 29. It says quite plainly, “he wanted to justify himself.” The dictionary defines the word justify as to “free from blame or guilt.” The expert in the law wanted to have a guide on who to love. Surely there are rules for who we should and shouldn’t love! This is what the man, so used to a list of rules and regulations for righteousness, may have expected. But it is not so. God didn’t create us to be exclusive and love inside the comfort zone of who we know. Jesus opens wide the listeners’ hearts by reminding them that it is our duty to love everyone. In this way, the law is fulfilled.

Apply

Who are we trying to justify to ourselves that it’s okay not to love?

 

Closing Prayer

 Lord, please give us the courage and humility to reach outside of our circles. Let us love everyone, just as you have commanded.

When Darkness Reigns

OPENING PRAYER

Father, when everyone fails me and my own faithfulness is gone, You remain faithful and I trust in You alone.

 

Read: LUKE 22:39-62

[39] Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. [40] On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” [41] He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, [42] “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” [43] An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. [44] And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. [45] When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. [46] “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” [47] While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, [48] but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”[49] When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” [50] And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. [51] But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. [52] Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? [53] Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour-when darkness reigns.” [54] Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. [55] And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. [56] A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” [57] But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. [58] A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. [59] About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” [60] Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. [61] The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” [62]And he went outside and wept bitterly. 

 

Reflect: WHAT CAUSES THE DISCIPLES TO SLEEP?

The reign of darkness lures people to sin. It may turn friends into foes: Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss (47). It may cause friends to think only of themselves: Peter repeatedly denies that he knows Jesus, despite his earlier boast about loyalty (57-60). When darkness reigns, the religious leaders who cannot defeat Jesus through open discussion seize him through brute force.Jesus knows that the darkness is coming, and he warns his disciples that they must pray or they will fall prey to temptation. They fall asleep instead. When temptation comes, they are indeed prey. Jesus, however, is about to take upon himself God’s judgment against sin; he needs to pray against the temptation to not shoulder that judgment. By accepting it, he forges a path out of sin. When we are tempted, we need, like Jesus, to pray for strength to turn our back on it. It takes courage to say no to temptation. Yet even when we fall prey, we may be reconciled to God because Jesus took God’s judgment against sin. Jesus provides us with light to live by, even in the midst of darkness.

 

APPLY

What temptation are you facing? Ask God to help you walk away from it.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Tender Savior, thank You that You have faced the greatest darkness and You have overcome.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
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The Way of the Kingdom

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, You came as a servant. Help me seek to serve You with the heart in which You served.

 

Read: LUKE 22:24-38

[24] A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. [25] Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. [26] But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. [27] For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. [28] You are those who have stood by me in my trials. [29] And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, [30] so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. [31] “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. [32] But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” [33] But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” [34] Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” [35] Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. [36] He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. [37] It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” [38] The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied. 

 

Reflect: WHAT IS THE EXAMPLE JESUS IS CALLING HIS DISCIPLES TO FOLLOW?

Jesus has told his disciples that the path to his kingdom is through his death. Yet the disciples are arguing over who gets to be number one in this kingdom. They have not understood that in Jesus’ kingdom it’s not status that matters, but servanthood. Jesus, their Lord, served them in life and commits the ultimate act of service by dying for them. The purse, bag and sword in verse 36 represent the new status of Jesus and his disciples in the coming hours: they will be numbered among the lawless, the disciples will flee for their lives, and Jesus will be executed as a criminal. There doesn’t seem to be much kingdom glory in that.Like Peter, we may object. Following Jesus may be hard now and again, but we think we can manage. This self-reliant attitude is another variation on the disciples’ dispute over greatness. Peter’s faith may not fail him, but his courage will. Our talents, skills and expertise are not given to us so that we may prove ourselves worthy. They are given to us so that, like Peter, we might serve other people, and thereby build the kingdom. We don’t achieve a position in the kingdom but receive it from Jesus, who already values us so much that he died for us.

 

APPLY

Evaluate what motivates you to serve within the church. Ask Jesus to help you.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, the Suffering Servant of God, help me not lose track of what it means to follow You.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
www.scriptureunion.org