The Good Samaritan
Jesus once told a story that we call the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It is found in the Bible in Luke 10:25–37. The story tells about a man who was traveling between two cities. On this trip, the man fell among thieves who took his clothing and left him wounded by the side of the road.
Many of us have taken trips, traveling from one city to another. This man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, two cities in the land where Jesus lived. In the Bible, the city of Jerusalem is used as a picture of God’s kingdom. The city of Jericho pictures the unbelieving world.
The man in this story was traveling from God’s kingdom into the world of sin and unbelief. He did not have believers with him on this trip. He was among thieves, who were not believers. They could not help him when he was wounded. Instead, they left him half dead on the side of the road. Now the man was in a dangerous place and was not able to help himself. If his wounds did not receive care, he would die.
Perhaps you know of people who have taken this kind of a trip. On this trip, a person falls into sin and is wounded. If sin is not cared for, or forgiven, the result is that a person loses their faith. Then he leaves God’s kingdom and begins to live a life of unbelief in this world.
This story teaches us how important our believing friends and family members are. We, too, have experienced the wounds of sin, when sin hurts our conscience. When this happens, we know that there is only one thing that can help us. It is to hear from another believer that our sins can be forgiven in the name and blood of Jesus. We call this good message of forgiveness the gospel. It feels good to hear and believe the gospel when we are troubled by sin. The wounds of sin are then healed, and we can again be happy children of God.
We may have friends and even family members who are not believing. We still love them, but they are not able to help us if we sin. The Bible teaches us to love our neighbors and all people, but it also warns us about becoming too close to this world, where there are many temptations. Unbelieving friends might want us to do things that would wound our conscience. It could happen like the man in our story, that we become wounded by sin and have no believers close to us who can help us.
Fortunately, for this man, someone found him and was able to help him. It was the Good Samaritan, who is a picture of Jesus. Jesus was able and willing to help this man. He could heal his wounds and bring him to a place where he could be cared for. Where did Jesus bring this traveler? He brought him to an inn, which is God’s house.
God’s house is a place of care for all children of God. In God’s house, the gospel cares for our wounds of sin. The other children of God love us and take care of us. Is there anything that we can do for each other that is more important than to help each other fight against sin and to preach the gospel of forgiveness to each other? How good it feels when sins are forgiven, and we can travel together on the way to heaven. Let us never tire of preaching the gospel to each other, in our homes and families, and with our believing friends.
1. Read Luke 10:25–37, and discuss this story.
2. The thieves in the story could not help the wounded man. Neither could the first two people who passed by him. Why couldn’t they help him?
3. Why is it so important that we have our sins forgiven?
4. Sing songs of Zion 422 and 486, and discuss their content.
September/October 2012 Shepherd’s Voice