SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
Passage: Luke 10:32-37
“32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Memory Verse: John 1:28b NIV
“LOOK, THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.”
In other editions of Spiritual Nourishment for Today we looked at what led to the parable of the Good Samaritan as well as the parable itself: See “The Good Samaritan“. We ended by learning that believers should be kind, generous and hospitable and show love, care and compassion towards all men. This is has been the traditional lesson derived from the parable. However I want us to look at another important lesson Jesus taught us by that parable which is far quite different from the traditional interpretation. The important lesson is that no one fits the description of the Good Samaritan than Jesus Christ himself. So believers should not only desire to be kind and compassion but also see themselves as the man who was saved by the ‘Good Samaritan’ Jesus Christ!
In the parable Jesus spoke about a Jew who was traveling to Jericho and was attacked by robbers. His fellow Jews came to see him ,but they could not help him. When the despised Samaritan came near, he took care of him, and put him in an inn. He also promised to come back later.
Jesus began by saying that the man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. Jerusalem is a blessed city. It is the city of God. Jericho on the other hand is a cursed city according to Nehemiah 11:1, 1 Kings 16:34 and Joshua 6:26. On his way he was attacked by robbers. This can be compared to the story of the fall of man as we find in Genesis 3 when man decided to rebel against God. As man moved away from God he fell into the hands of Satan who is the chief of all robbers. According to John 10:10, Satan the thief, only comes to steal, kill and destroy. Satan robbed man of his glory and peace as granted him by God. Man has since been trying to be saved through the various religious sacrifices through the priests and Levites but none could save mankind. This leads us to the understanding that when man decides to move away from God he loses his security. Satan takes advantage of him and destroys him. When we find ourselves in the trap of Satan we may do everything we can to save ourselves but we can never get the desired results because salvation comes only through Jesus Christ.
Because of what happened to the man he became weak and helpless. He had no hope of survival. After the priest and the Levite had passed without any help he might have taught his end had come. Yes indeed he would have died if the Samaritan had not come. He was losing more blood. He had become dirty. It is even possible that the priest and the Levite who passed by might have taught he was already dead and so did not want to touch any dead body. It could also mean they refused to touch him because they did not want to stain their clothes with blood. In fact there was nothing good about the man to attract anybody to go near him. He was going to die soon after.
Sin stains our lives. Sin makes us dirty. It takes away our glory until we come into contact with Jesus. The man in his condition could be compared to the condition of man before Jesus came into this world. We were dirty in our sins. We were helpless in our desire to be saved because there was no way out for us. We were only awaiting death. But God had compassion on us and sent His Son Jesus Christ to us. Jesus did not look at his nature as God, but rather took upon himself the nature of man. He did not care about how unpleasant we looked because of our sins. He loved us even in our sins. He died for us, forgave us and justified us. By our justification, Jesus treated us as if we had never sinned before just as the Good Samaritan did not look at how the blood stains and the dirt of the man’s body could soil his clothes and donkey.
The Good Samaritan used oil to anoint the man’s wounds to help accelerate the rate of healing. But Jesus has gone beyond that by using his own blood to take away our sins. He has washed our sins with his own blood, leaving us clean and very pure. Isn’t this love amazing? How do you feel to know that when Satan left you in a state of helplessness and hopelessness Jesus loved you, came down and died in order to save you from eternal death? Had he not come to your aid you would have suffered eternal punishment. Do you rejoice over what Jesus has done for you? Do you appreciate and value it or you just take it lightly?
Imagine how the man would have treated the Samaritan after he had fully recovered. Would he not be filled with joy and appreciate the man who rescued him from death? Unfortunately many Christians think very little about what Jesus has done for us.
After the man had been rescued the Good Samaritan left him at an in where he would be taken good care of until he fully recovered. This in represents the church. Believers have also been left in the hands of God’s servants in order to receive bitter and sweet medication as well as Spiritual nourishment till the Master returns. As the head of the church, Jesus expects all his saved ones to continue in his grace and knowledge through our active participation in the church. It is through the church that Jesus continues to teach us to grow into full maturity in him. If we stay out of the assembly of believers our growth shall be stunted just as the man’s life would have been in danger if he had not been taken to the inn.
Let us thank Jesus for saving us from the hands of Satan and continue to remain in his family till he comes to meet us fully prepared to go with him!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.