Quest for Truth 140 Patching the Political Divide

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Or, The Good Samaritan

Though not in our usual recording set up, Nathan is patched in, through the magic of podcasting technology to share his thoughts on today’s topic. The Retrobots help to ease things along, despite some behind the scenes drama.

In our current political climate, where the rift between various agendas seem to rip our nation apart, this is the time to learn how to take steps to being reconciled, and put differences aside to discuss what’s really wrong, and heal wounds that are in dire need of attention. Will it mean we’ll see things the same, and agree? No, but Wounds need to take top priority in fixing, before we can begin to discuss, and understand opposing ideas.

How does the account of the Good Samaritan help? The focused question deals with who a neighbor is, and the unexpected source of help. But the original question also helps in identifying a higher purpose as well. That higher goal is in reaching a unified kingdom, where humans of all diverse races and groups can come together. But even more importantly, a kingdom where humans and God will one day be able to reconcile, and unite.

Main Topic: the Good Samaritan

Note: taken from an outline, and several talking points from Sunday school curriculum. This and others with full commentary and teaching helps can be found at:

The Gospel Project®
© 2017 LifeWay Christian Resources

God’s compassion toward us, should motivate us to show compassion to people in need.

Passage: Luke 10:25-37

  1. Loving God, and neighbor, sums up the law (Luke 10:25-28).
  2. Loving our neighbor, means showing compassion (Luke 10:29-35).
  3. Compassion from Jesus leads to compassion to others (Luke 10:36-37).

Introduction

The phrase “You’re asking the wrong question” usually means the focus needs to be shifted.

Jesus response changed the question. From, “how to gain eternal life” to, “Who is my neighbor?”

1. Loving God and loving neighbor sums up the law

(Luke 10:25-28).

25 Then an expert in the law stood up to test him, saying,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? ”

26 “What is written in the law? ” he asked him.
“How do you read it? ”

27 He answered,
“Love the Lord your God
with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,”
and “your neighbor as yourself.”

28 “You’ve answered correctly,” he told him. “Do this and you will live.”

To the law expert, the meaning of the phrase “inherit eternal life” might be asked in this way:

“Teacher, how can I make sure I will be part of God’s kingdom when the Messiah comes and establishes His reign on earth?
How can I make sure that whenever God returns to us, His people, and makes everything right, I’m going to be part of that inheritance?”

Jesus responded, you’re the law expert, “How do you understand it?”

Jesus’ had a reason in answering the man’s question this way. The expert knew the answer already. What does loving God with (heart, soul, strength, and mind) mean?

This raises the question “Who can fully and at all times love God and neighbor as they ought to?”

What does “inherit eternal life” mean in our culture, if anything at all? When does it begin?

The spiritual kingdom started when Christ opened the door when he paid the price to justify all people. There will surely be a physical, new world, that is one with the heavenly kingdom. But that unified kingdom is still on the way.

2. Loving our neighbor means showing compassion

(Luke 10:29-35).

29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor? ”

30 Jesus took up the question and said:

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers.
They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead.
31 A priest happened to be going down that road. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

33 But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion.
34 He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine.
Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him. When I come back I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.’

What might be the expert’s motivation in asking the question “Who is my neighbor?”

He wanted to justify himself.
With the immensity and the weight of responsibility… to love God, and neighbor everywhere at all times,
the question may have been intended to limit his love.

As if to say:

  • “Tell me who it is I need to love, and I’ll make sure I love that person.”
  • “Tell me who my neighbors are, and I’ll make sure I love them.”

The Gospel Project®
© 2017 LifeWay Christian Resources

The parable was scandalous for Jewish society. It was shocking, a Samaritan man stops to help the wounded Jew. The Samaritans were despised people. For the Samaritan to become the hero of the story, and to be the one to cross ethnic and cultural boundaries was scandalous.
Imagine if we were to retell the story today about a wounded white man in distress in the Deep South, being helped by a black man. Fill in your own details, or political opposites. Liberal against conservative, or the opposing agendas of your choice, with help coming from the one not like you.

The parable scandalizes, but it also raises questions:

  • Why do people, even those who are religious, fail to show compassion when required?
  • Is it out of personal inconvenience, self centeredness, or just plain apathy?
  • What does real compassion look like?

It’s time to pay the cost of inconvenience, and move out of our comfort zones.

3. Compassion from Jesus leads to compassion for others

(Luke 10:36-37).

36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? ”

37 “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said.

Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”

Jesus’ is focused on being a neighbor. Being the kind of person who shows mercy to those in need. If you’re a Christian, one who has received the compassion of God, shown clearly in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, You have a responsibility to love your neighbors by showing mercy to those in need

  • What does it say about us as Christians if we fail to be compassionate?
  • How does our ministry of mercy back up what we say we believe about God’s mercy to us?
  • The measure of how much we love God, is seen in how much we show love to others. Especially those not like us.

Conclusion

The parable of the good Samaritan helps us ask new questions about our own hearts and lives.

It inspires us to love others as we have been loved by God

To wrap things up, the Retrobots both help with closing thoughts.

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