Cactus on Yellow Wall

The Good Samaritan

"A certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: ...and had compassion on him" (Luke 10:33).

Most Bible -lovers have a special love for this story, and, having ourselves traveled down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, we can easily visualize the whole event told by our Lord.

It needs to be remembered that the story was originally told to a man who had enquired about "eternal life" (v.25), and, in these few sentences, the Lord revealed the very essence of is gospel. What a Master -Teacher He was, -and still is!

Leaving the details for a moment, we may say that the basic message behind the story is that if anyone of s would have "eternal life" we must see that it is not a matter of what we can do for ourselves, but rather of what Someone Else has graciously done for us the needy man in our story did nothing to save himself, but could only be grateful for what was being done for him. The Bible says that it is "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Tit. 3:5). And that we would say, is the unique genius of the Christian gospel, -and it counters and condemns all those false "gospels" that are around us everywhere. Men love to do something to earn eternal life, but that makes proud men prouder, and if those are the people to populate heaven, then heaven itself would only be another hell (See 1 Cor.1: 29)! How much better it is to get low now, and just thank our Savior for what He has done for us!

The story itself sets before us three important truths. First we see.

THE PLIGHT OF THE SINNER

We note that the man in question had "fallen among thieves" who had stripped" him, and "wounded" him, and left him "half dead" (v.30). Possibly he had brought all this upon himself, -not paying heed to solemn warnings, and traveling unaccompanied along the dangerous road, - as. most of us have done. We note that it says he "went down" to Jericho, and that, we know, is a fast- descending road, and exactly like the road of sin and self. And it says he "fell" among thieves, - and who of us has not done that? Our father Adam was the first to fall, and all of us have been dragged down with him in that "Fall”! But, apart from that, each one of us has also "fallen in the way", brought down by one vile sin after another. The "thieves of lust and lying and self-indulgence and many others have all done their work, and we have been left "half-dead"! Indeed, as Paul puts it, we are totally "dead (toward God!) in trespasses and sins” (Eph.2: 1 ). Great indeed is the plight of the sinner!

The next thing illustrated in our story, (and particularly emphasized!)

THE IMPOTENCE OF MERE"RELIGION”

For the record goes on to tell of long-robed priests and Levites viewing the scene but "passing by on the other side" (vs.31, 32). And how many of us have had to learn that lesson, -or are learning it! "Religions of all kinds parade themselves everywhere, but we shall have to discover that even our diligent observance of prescribed tenets cannot lift us from the dust, or save a needy soul” Hope may rise for a season, but the wounds and impotence will still be there, and the inner grief unchanged. Let us settle it, then, that once we have fallen among the thieves we need more than religions and philosophies to help us, for all such will only "pass us by on the other side". But now we have the beautiful pan of our story, for, in the person of the Samaritan, is depicted for us.

THE POWER OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

We cannot here spell out all the details, but we can mention a few of the ways in which He is portrayed to us, and His saving work declared. First we read that "he came where he (the dying man) was" (v.33). Hebron Messenger Thank God, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1Tim.1: 15). That, we know, is simple history and Christ Himself said, while He was here alongside us, "The Son of man IS COME to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Heavenly Samaritan indeed! Next we are told, "he had compassion on him" (v .33). With Christ, that compassion began in heaven, but how His heart must have ached as. well when, here at our "roadside", he saw the countless evidences of the plight into which humanity had fallen. That same divine compassion finally took Him to the Cross-where His own pure
lood was willingly poured out as atonement for – our sins and our follies. Like that first Samaritan, His own garments were "stained indeed" while He worked on us and for us (See Isa.63: 1-2), but, thank God, He did not pass us by. Truly, "His compassions fail not" (See Lam.3:22). We further read that the Samaritan bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine" (v.34). This reminds us of three very precious verses:
1. "He loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Gal.2:20).
2. "The Blood of Jesus Christ (wine indeed!) cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John1: 7).
3. "He (the Holy Spirit) shall be in you" (The real Oil of Heaven) (John 14:17). There, we would say, is the real Christian message. Christ Himself cleanses our sins with His own blood, and then, as the Risen Lord, He comes in to indwell and transform us, -making us "whole" indeed! Finally, we note the statement that He set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him" (v.34). The first phrase depicts us as "raised up" and identified with Christ in His ascendancy (as taught in Eph.2: 6), whilst "brought to the inn" speaks of our entrance into His church to enjoy the care and fellowship of His people; and what an "inn" that is! (See Acts 2:44; Psalm 133). We are told, moreover, that the Samaritan then made himself personally responsible for the future needs of his saved one, declaring "whatsoever thou spendest more, I will repay" (v.35). The message, here is that CHRIST HIMSELF is our new Sufficiency for
all things, and, as John puts it, "We live through HIM" (1 John 4:9). We ask you, then, why not confess your need to Him this moment, - taking Him to be the complete answer to your fallen spiritual condition, and the Compassionate Healer of all your wounds? He will not fail you. But you must have dealings with Him, Himself. The cry of faith will do it.

THE RUNAWAYSERVANT OF GOD -3- BAKHT SINGH

What a temptation it must have been to the whale to make a meal of Jonah when he was in it's belly! Suppose for three days and nights you sit at a table laden with all your favorite dishes, such as chicken, ice cream etc., but with clear instructions that you should not eat any of those things, how would you feel? The fact that there is no one to prevent you from eating would make things all the more difficult for you. But what a mystery! Jonah remained undigested in the whale's belly. How wonderful is God's love! He may chastise us, and send storms in our lives. He may take us through unpleasant situations, but no harm will come to us. In fact, you will find yourself in a better position after you are tested than before. The whale must have taken Jonah, here and there, to different parts of the sea during those three days and nights, but Jonah was safe and unharmed inside. Further, see how this experience of being in the fish's belly brought about true repentance in the heart of Jonah (ch.2). Jonah did not hide his sin from the people in the ship, then how could he hide it from God? When the work of repentance in Jonah was deep and complete, God commanded the whale to throw him right on the spot where God wanted Jonah to be. In the same way, God allows storms in our lives to bring us to true repentance and real confession; Likewise, He lovingly brings us to the place where He wants us to be and where He can use us.

God was trying to teach many lessons to Jonah of which the wonderful meaning of the power of resurrection was one. That is why when the Pharisees and Sadducees asked our Lord for a sign, He replied, "...there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" {Matt.12: 39,40).

We see an instance of God's provision for His servants in the way He commanded the fish to throw Jonah on dry land. When Jonah ran away he had to pay his fare (Jonah 1: 3). But when he repented, the whale took him to the shore free of charge! God became responsible: for all Jonah's expenses. How many God's servants weep and complain when they have no money! They do not realize that they are suffering because of their disobedience in some matter, and have to repent. All our needs will be met by God when there is true repentance and whole-hearted obedience.

Jonah arose and went into Nineveh and preached; "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be over thrown!" So the people repented and turned from their evil ways. God forgave them and Nineveh was not destroyed. Once again Jonah failed to understand God's ways and became angry with Him for not overthrowing Nineveh.

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.   Matthew 24: 42