Intentional love - Bible Studies for Life for September 23, 2018
Bible Studies for Life
September 30, 2018
Luke 10:25-37 (HCSB)
This lesson begins with a dialogue between Jesus and a lawyer. Notice that the lawyer stood up to ask a question. In Middle Eastern traditional culture, the teacher sat while the students stood in respect, recited what they had learned or asked a question. This lawyer’s motivation was not to be a respectful student. He wanted to trap Jesus. Jesus knew what he was up to.
The lawyer’s question was flawed. He asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). “Inheritance” by its very nature is not something that is earned; it is a gift. But Jesus turned it around and asked the lawyer what was written in the law and how did he read it. He answered by saying to love God and to love your neighbor. Jesus told him that he was correct and to go and do it. Immediately the lawyer saw he had asked the wrong question. Wanting to justify himself, he asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus didn’t answer directly but told a story.
The parable of the good Samaritan is about a man going from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was attacked, robbed, beaten and left for dead. A priest and a Levite passed by without helping him. But a Samaritan stopped, cared for him and took him to an inn where the Samaritan paid for his care.
The Samaritans were enemies of the Jews. Jesus asked the lawyer which of the three was a neighbor to the man. The lawyer answered, “The one who showed mercy to him” (Luke 10:37). The lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbor?” was not answered. Jesus reflected on the larger question, “To whom must I become a neighbor?” The answer was: anyone in need. Both times Jesus answered the lawyer, He said, “Go and do!”
As believers, we must intentionally be a neighbor and show love and compassion to anyone in need, regardless of language, religion, ethnicity or social or economic status.