One day a Jewish lawyer
approached Jesus. He was a remarkable man of fine
character. Although the evangelist did
not give his name, this man was an expert in the Law
of Moses. He spent his life studying the law,
interpreting it and teaching it in the synagogues.
It was part of his solemn duty to decide questions
regarding the law.
The Gospel writer Luke
introduces this lawyer as a serious inquirer, and
sincere seeker of truth. He put Jesus to the "test"
with his sharp inquiring mind. He asked a question
to "test" Jesus (Luke 10:25). The word "test" is in
the intensive form meaning to test thoroughly. He
was seeking as a teacher to reveal the mind of the
Master Teacher. He was seeking not only the answer
to his question, but as to how Jesus processed his
conclusion. How did the Master Teacher think? This
lawyer was a highly intelligent man of great
ability. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and
search with him the mind of Christ. Luke takes us to
the heart of the passage with this lawyer's question
LOVE THE LORD
A Jewish lawyer asked the
question, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
Since he is a student of
the Jewish law, the lawyer asked what is the
relationship between law and life. Give me a law
that will guarantee me abundant life. "What shall I
do" to inherit this kind of life? I want life; give
me a dynamic, full, vivacious abundant life. What
shall I do? What shall I do to receive my shared
allotment in the inheritance of God? What can I do
to obtain God's kind of life?
"Eternal life" is not
speaking necessarily of duration, but of salvation,
and entering the kingdom of God. It is the kind of
life God has, and it begins now in the new birth and
lasts through out eternity (John 5:26). Christ in a
believer is life. Christ is our life (Col. 3:4; Gal.
2:20; John 11:25-26; 14:6). This life ever moves
toward its divine source and issues in eternal life.
It is not subject to change or decay. Indeed, it is
resurrection life and looks forward to the blessed
hope that is ours when Christ returns. The word is
applied to no one other than God, and describes
nothing less and nothing other than the life of God
Himself. We enter that life with Him when we believe
on Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. This kind of
life can only begin with a spiritual birth because
we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-3).
Christ makes possible an intimate love relationship
with the LORD God. Eternal life begins with someone
–– Christ (John 6:40).
The word "eternal"
relates to God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy
Spirit. It speaks of the never-ending timeless past,
present and future. We as believers enjoy this kind
of life because of what God has done for us in the
person and work of Jesus Christ.
This Jewish scholar came
to Jesus asking Him about life, eternal life. Is
there a law that will give this kind of life? What
can I do to obtain it?
It is important to
observe that Jesus didn't answer the man's question.
He let the man answer his own question. Jesus asked
the lawyer what the law teaches. Jesus answered with
another question: "What is written in the Law? How
does it read to you?" (v. 26). How do you read it?
You are an expert in the Law; may I hear your
exposition of it?
The lawyer responded,
"YOU SHALL 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 YOUR NEIGHBOR
AS YOUR SELF" (v. 27). The New American Standard
Bible formats quotes from the Old Testament in all
capital letters. Here the lawyer is quoting from
Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 which he wore on
the fringe of his garments in tiny leather boxes.
His phylactery contained the answer to his own
question to Jesus.
You must love the Lord
your God with all your heart, and with all your
soul, and with all your strength, and with all your
mind. You must not only love your neighbor, but your
must love him as yourself.
Jesus told him, "You have
answered correctly" (v. 28). Indeed, Jesus answered
with a quote from Leviticus 18:5; "DO THIS, AND YOU
WILL LIVE." Good answer; now go and do it. The
reasoning is: "If you would attain to eternal life
by keeping the law, then keep the law. Do it and
live. Keep on doing it and live."
Only one problem
However, there is only
one problem. Have you done it? Do you know anyone
who has loved the Lord God with all your heart, with
all your soul, with all your strength, with all your
mind, and your neighbor as yourself? Have you done
it every day, every hour of your life with no slip
up? With a holy God 99.99% is failure. Yes, you read
it correctly. Seventy is not passing with God. It is
an "F" on your spiritual report card! "For whoever
keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point,
he has become guilty of all" (James 2:10). Ouch! How
many times do you have to break the law to be lost?
How many times do you have to fail in the sight of a
holy God to become guilty? "If we say we have not
sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in
us" (1 John 1:10). We are only deceiving ourselves
and no one else.
There is only one person
who has ever lived up to the righteous demands of
God's law. He is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He
"committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His
mouth" (1 Peter 2:22). He never experienced sin, and
never failed to keep the holy demands of the law.
The Father declared on three different occasions,
"This is My Son in whom I am well pleased."
The Bible is clear that
to be saved by keeping the law requires that one
keep the whole law perfectly, all the time. The law
must be kept, all of it, without any omissions, or
failures, or exceptions, all the time. In order to
be justified by the law, one must be perfect.
If this lawyer was
dishonest, he just fell into his own mental and
spiritual trap! His system of law keeping made
eternal life impossible. "The soul that sins will
surely die." Romans 3:20 declares, "By the works of
the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for
through the Law comes the knowledge of sin." Sinful
man cannot live up to the holy demands of the law.
The purpose of the Law was not to give eternal life.
The purpose of the
The purpose of the law
was to reveal sin, not to give eternal life. It
pointed its long finger and declared, "You are
guilty!" "The Scripture has shut up all men under
sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might
be given to those who believe" (Galatians 3:22). The
purpose of the law was to convict us of sin and
point us to the Savior who can save us from our sin
and guilt. The law was never meant to save anyone.
It was powerless. It was being used for the wrong
The lawyer knew he didn't
have eternal life so he tried to put Jesus on the
defensive. He was in trouble spiritually. He was
guilty of breaking the law. Now, unexpectedly the
lawyer feels obligated to justify himself. This is
often what happens when we come under the conviction
of our sinfulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, the lawyer asked Jesus a second question,
"wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, 'And
who is my neighbor?'" (v. 29). In the Jewish
lawyer's mind, his neighbor could never be a
Gentile. He would have to be from the Jewish race,
an Israelite, and a Pharisee. Jesus answered the
lawyer by telling a story.
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
Jesus told the
story of the Good Samaritan (vv. 30-37).
Jesus replied and said,
"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and
fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat
him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by
chance a priest was going down on that road, and
when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place
and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a
Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and
when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him
and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on
them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought
him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day
he took out two denarii and gave them to the
innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever
more you spend, when I return I will repay you.'
Which of these three do you think proved to be a
neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers'
hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy
toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the
How to be
In the story the
Samaritan offered mercy and love in tangible and
He saw the wounded man on
the side of the road. He didn't close his eyes and
walk away. He allowed something to happen in his
heart. He hadn't become callused, abrasive and hard
from the cruel encounters of the evils in life.
He did not run from his
feelings. He felt compassion and identified with the
man at that moment out of a heart of love. He
acknowledged and deeply experienced his feelings of
He was willing to risk
his own safety. He came toward the man, taking his
own life in his hands because he had no knowledge
that the robbers had left the area. Moreover, when
he came forward he realized this half–dead man was a
Jew and his sworn enemy! There was no love lost
between the Jews and the Samaritans. However, he
went beyond his pent up racial and religious
He acted on what he knew
the right thing to do. He bandaged up the wounds,
pouring his own precious wine and oil on him.
The Good Samaritan put
the man on his own beast and walked, looking for a
place of refuge. He was willing to give up personal
comfort and convenience to help an enemy in need.
He brought him to an inn,
therefore restricting his own plans and personal
He took personal care of
the injured man and stayed the night in the inn,
nursing the enemy back to life, and making sure he
was going to live.
He gave the innkeeper
two-day's wages and asked him to watch over the man,
and if it cost more he would personally repay him.
As a caregiver, he was willing to cover the expenses
of the needy.
He planned to return to
follow-up on the injured man.
Jesus asked the lawyer
which one proved to be neighborly in the story? "The
one who showed mercy." Mercy is the outward
manifestation of pity; it assumes need on the part
of him who receives it, and resources adequate to
meet the need on the part of him who shows it. This
word is used of God, who is rich in mercy toward the
sinner (Ephesians 2:4), and who has provided
salvation for all men (Titus 3:5).
It is obvious the
Samaritan had a personal relationship with God, and
because of that relationship, he was able to reach
out to his needy enemy with the mercy of God. The
lawyer was lacking in this one thing. He had never
experienced God's marvelous grace. All he could
think of was legalism and merit. He was too busy
justifying himself in the eyes of men and God.
Once a person has come to
an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ he
is able to reach out to a depraved, lost dying
Who is the Good
Samaritan in this story?
It is the Lord Jesus
Christ Himself! The Good Samaritan is Jesus our
Kinsman Redeemer. He is our Go'el. "The Son
of Man has come to seek and to save that which was
lost" (Luke 19:10).
The man who was beaten
and left for dead is a picture of the ugliness of
sin and depravity.
Our Goel had to be
a near kinsman. He must be a blood relative. Jesus
is our near kinsman through the incarnation. Jesus
you are my kinsman redeemer. You have the right to
redeem me. He became one of us by becoming flesh and
dwelling among us. He is our nearest of kin.
He has the power and the
means to redeem. He owns the whole universe and
therefore He has the purchase price. He is the
spotless Son of God, born of a virgin. He is sinless
and pure in the sight of God and man.
Moreover, He is willing
to redeem us. "I lay down my life for the sheep"
(John 10:15ff). "No one has taken it away from Me,
but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have
authority to lay it down, and I have authority to
take it up again. This commandment I received from
My Father" (v. 18). He prayed to the Father, "Not my
will, Thy will be done." He went to the cross and
died in our place. He was willing to die our death.
As our Go'el He
was willing to marry the widow. It is a permanent
everlasting commitment to the Bride. We are the
Bride of Christ. He will not divorce, abandon, or
leave us. He will never forsake us. He will stay at
our side and nurse us back to life! He is concerned
for what is best for us.
Isaiah 53:3-6 reminds us
that just as this despised and rejected Samaritan
became the "savior" of the robber, so the despised
and rejected Jesus became the Savior of all who
trust in Him. "He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like
one from whom men hide their face He was despised,
and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He
Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we
ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and
afflicted. But He was pierced through for our
transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And
by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep
have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own
way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him" (Isaiah 53:3-6).
The Lord God saves us by
grace alone through faith alone in the sacrificial
death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ
alone. Jesus is the only righteous man on this
earth. He alone fulfilled the law perfectly. He took
our sins upon Himself, bearing the curse of death
which the law pronounced on us. By trusting in His
death and resurrection on our behalf, our sins are
forgiven and we receive the free gift of eternal
"For while we were
helpless, at the right time Christ died for the
ungodly. . . But God demonstrates his own love
toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us" (Romans 5:6, 8). That is what our
Kinsman did for us. Our Good Samaritan went to the
cross and died in our place to give us eternal life.
Saved by grace
This eternal life is not
the result of our good works, not even being a good
neighbor, but the result of God's grace manifested
through Jesus Christ. "For by grace you have been
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it
is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that
no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8–9).
What is Jesus saying to
this Jewish lawyer and anyone else who thinks he can
earn eternal life? The Jewish religious system was
completely bankrupt. Law keeping was not the way to
eternal life because no one is able to live up to
the demands of the law. In order to be saved by law
keeping, he must fulfill every requirement of the
law all of the time, and with his whole heart, soul,
mind, and strength. Not half-heartedly. Not as a
hobby. Not as a religious fad. Not even as the most
sincere religious, moral person the world has ever
known. The law can only condemn; it cannot save. The
law is powerless to save you. The lawyer was guilty
just as you and I are guilty of breaking the law.
You cannot earn or merit eternal life no matter how
good you think you are, or how religious you may be.
It is an "inheritance." It is a gift. It is not
something you earn or do.
The Lord responded by
reminding him of his question that eternal life is
not given to men and women based on some religious
activity. Eternal life is the fruit of establishing
a loving relationship with the one and only living
God. It is something you "inherit" because you are a
member of His family. Once that relationship is
established by faith and not by works, the Lord
fills our lives with Himself and His love and
enables us to not only love Him fully, but to love
our neighbors as ourselves.
What shall I do to
inherit eternal life?
Nothing! Stop thinking
you can do something to merit it. You get your
inheritance through a relationship with God. You
receive it because you are His child, born into His
family spiritually by the new birth. Ephesians
2:8-9. It is by faith that it may all be by GRACE!
It is God's free gift. It is not by obedience, by
merits or works. It is all by grace through faith.
Start believing that God
came in the person of His Son Jesus Christ to save
us from our sins. If you place your faith in Jesus
as the only Savior, He will save you by His grace,
and immediately give you the gift of eternal life.
The moment you declare your spiritual bankruptcy and
believe on Christ you inherit eternal life.
Romans 10:9–10 gives the
only requirement for man to be saved. Read it
carefully and ponder these words of the apostle
Paul. He writes,
If you confess with your
mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that
God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for
with the heart a person believes, resulting in
righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses,
resulting in salvation.
Jesus said, "For God so
loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but
have eternal life" (John 3:16). Put your name in the
place of the word "world" and read the verse again.
Replace the word "whoever" with your own name and
read it a third time. Moreover, "He who believes in
Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been
judged already, because he has not believed in the
name of the only begotten Son of God" (v. 18). "He
who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who
does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the
wrath of God abides on him" (v. 36).
You can receive God's
free gift of eternal life right now by confessing to
Him your need and believing on Him as your personal
Savior. You may find it helpful to pray this prayer
if it comes from your heart. "Lord God I realize
that I am unworthy of ever earning or meriting the
salvation You freely give. I confess that I am a
sinner and I deserve eternal separation from Your
holy presence. However, I realize that You love me
and Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I ask you
to be my Savior and give me eternal life. Thank you
for this free gift." The apostle Paul told the Roman
jailer, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you
shall be saved" (Acts 16:31a).
Who is our
This passage also speaks
to those of us who know Christ as our personal
Savior. Our neighbor is the very next hurting person
we meet, whether friend or enemy. God has enabled us
to reach out with His love and mercy to a lost and
What are we to do to our
neighbor in trouble? It becomes a joy to bind the
wounds of a hurting and bleeding humanity. The Lord
Jesus reaches out and touches His world through our
loving hands. We become His eyes, His hands, His
feet and His heart as we minister His grace in His
Don't try to be a
Samaritan unless you have a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Moreover, if you have a
personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior
your "inheritance" is secure and your heart is
already filled with love, mercy and power. Now you
can be a good "Samaritan." Someone has said, "Grace
is the mother of compassion." It begins with a
changed life from the inside out. When we place our
faith in God, then He comes and dwells in us, and
His love begins to flow through us to others. That
is the only way you can love your neighbor. Christ
floods our hearts with His life. It is an exchanged
life. He lives His life through us to reach a lost
Would you like to know
more about how to have an intimate, personal
relationship with Jesus Christ? Go to A Free Gift
Title: Luke 10:25-37 The
Good Samaritan and Eternal Life
Series: People in Life of