2011-07-08 - The Good Samaritan: A Deeper Look
Part 2 ~ Originally Preached 2005-06-12
The priest represents the priesthood of Aaron. The priests were the ones responsible for the temporal sacrifices. Their work was insufficient to permanently help mankind so he just passed by.
The Levites were those with studying the Old Testament law. The Levite then represents obedience to the Law. It is not possible for fallen man to perfectly follow the law so it too passes by. The law can look on mankind it can point out and see the problems but it is not the solution. Looking at the two verses together we see that both the priests and Levites established in the days of Moses lacked the ability to help man.
Because neither Jewish office could help the fallen man another came, the Samaritan. Samaritans were not from the kingdom of Judah. They were foreigners or strangers. Jews in fact despised them. Jesus was a despised alien to this world. In John 8:48-49 we read of men accusing Jesus of being a demon possessed Samaritan. Jesus denies having a devil but notice what he doesn't deny. When Jesus came he saw us and had compassion on us. Jesus showed compassion over Lazarus, Jerusalem and the people on the shores that were like sheep with no shepherd.
And went to him. That is a concise description of the nativity of our Lord. He came down to earth; he came to us. Then Jesus bound up the man's wounds, our wounds. Remember the wounds are the pain of separation from God. Do you remember how Jesus cried, "My God My God why hast thou forsaken me" from the cross? (Mark 15:34) He bound our wounds by making them his own. They were imputed to him. Isaiah 53:5 records, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." The wounds were covered with oil and wine. Some scholars say this symbolizes the graces of God, the sacraments or ordinances of the church. Others point to the Savior's own blood shed for us. And still others claim these two items represent the New Testament and the grace of God. In any interpretation we see a clear picture of a tender loving Savior taking care of us. The verse ends with the Samaritan bringing the beaten man to an inn and caring for him a little while himself. The Savior brings us all in to one thing - the church. The inn is the church. The church is necessary for man to heal so he can later continue his journey.
This verse picks up "on the morrow"; Christ healed us and bound up our wounds between Calvary's cross and the garden's tomb. Then he stayed for a while appearing to many people after the resurrection. Before his departure the Samaritan made provisions for the man's care. Likewise Jesus made provisions for the care before he left this earth. First he gave two pence, the written and spoken teachings. In 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Paul writes, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." By the time Paul wrote this many important things were possibly recorded in the earliest gospels or apostolic epistles. But he also realized that as they went from place to place, many things were also taught verbally. These two pence were given to the host or innkeeper. As the Samaritan gave a charge to the innkeeper to take care of him, so Jesus commanded Peter to feed my sheep. If you love me, feed my sheep. (John 21:15-17) The innkeeper then is our pastors and teachers. They have a commission from God to teach and aid newborn Christians - men recovering from sin. Now notice the marvelous promise that follows: "when I come again" This is prophetic word's of Christ's second coming. He is coming again. And look at what will happen when he returns. He pledges to repay the host. I will repay thee. The church will be rewarded for helping man. In Jesus' account of the judgment of sheep and goats, the sheep are repaid for all the good they have done for others. (Matthew 25:32-46)
Isn't it amazing to see the depth of God's word? A simple story with a simple message like love your neighbors can have such depth in its meaning and describe the history of man and Jesus' role as Savior. If you examine other parables you will see the surface message but as you dig you can uncover the riches of God's meaning. This is the reason why we should never quit reading it and examining God's precious word. And that is my challenge to each of you, read and study God's word. Dwell on it. Meditate on it day and night. Study to show yourself approved. Draw nigh to God.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted