2011-07-08 - The Good Samaritan: A Deeper Look
Originally Preached 2005-06-12
Jesus often spoke in parables. Parables were stories in which heavenly truths were shown in earthly incidents. A parable is a comparison or parallel between two things. Often we think of it just as a story with a moral and we forget the parallel part. The disciples wondered why Jesus always spoke in parables.
Jesus says the reason for using parables was that he wanted to show things to some and hide it from others. Now that doesn't mean he wanted some to get nothing out of it but that he wanted some to get more. He gave the story relevance for all and truth for some. So there's sort of the plain obvious lesson in parables but there's a deeper lesson only meant for his disciples those who are learners under his tutelage.
Let's take just one parable and examine it at a deeper level. Let's consider probably one of the most familiar parables of the Bible, the parable of the Good Samaritan. So often we look at the application that precedes and follows it about loving neighbors and being like the Good Samaritan that we don't really study the parable itself. This time let's just study and look into the mind of Christ for it is out of his mind that these parables came.
OK do you see that you are to be like the Good Samaritan, love others, and treat everyone well. Great then you get the relevance but let's dig for the truth. To do that let's look at it one or two verses at a time.
The story starts with a certain man. Humanity also began with a certain man. The Hebrew word for both Adam and man is the same. This man began a journey down from Jerusalem to Jericho. That trip consisted of a 3,000 to 3,500 foot drop in elevation over 18 miles. It was not a series of ups and downs, just one continual descent. That takes more significance when we see Jerusalem as the place Jesus' Jewish contemporaries saw it. The city of Jerusalem was the city that bore the name of the Lord. It was the only city with God's temple with God's house. It was the city of God. Man went down from God's city to Jericho. Leaving God is always a downhill journey. He went down to Jericho. The first Jericho known to the Jews was the first pagan city they destroyed when they conquered the Promised Land. It represents the city of man. He was going the wrong direction. And then the parable says the man fell among thieves. Thinking of the journey as being man's descent from God's ways to his own ways, we see that he fell to Sin and demons. Being thieves it is implied that they robbed the man. He was deprived of innocence and the blessings of Eden. But the thieves aren't satisfied there. Sin always takes you farther than you wanted to go, and costs more than you wanted to pay. The thieves also stripped him; they took his robe of righteousness. In the garden, Adam and Eve lost their robe and tried to use a few leaves to do the job until God provided better robes. The thieves also wounded him. The wounds are the pain and suffering of separation from God. And lastly the thieves left him half dead. The wages of sin is death; on earth we're earning but just haven't collected it yet. If you put in the time, you know the paycheck is coming at the end of the week. Looking at the verse as a whole we see that Adam and Eve represent us all. The man's fall to sin is their fall and our fall. Mankind strayed from God to man and lost the good God had bestowed.
Until next time
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted