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So ... Who IS my neighbor? (Closed Captioned)

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Sermon text for this morning: Luke: 10: 25-37 Let us rise for the reading of this morning's sermon text: ON ONE OCCASION AN EXPERT IN THE LAW STOOD UP TO TEST JESUS. "TEACHER," HE ASKED, "WHAT MUST I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?" "WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW?" HE REPLIED. "HOW DO YOU READ IT?" HE ANSWERED: " 'LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND' ; AND, LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' " "YOU HAVE ANSWERED CORRECTLY," JESUS REPLIED. "DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE." BUT HE WANTED TO JUSTIFY HIMSELF, SO HE ASKED JESUS, "AND WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?" IN REPLY JESUS SAID: A MAN WAS GOING DOWN FROM JERUSALEM TO JERICHO, WHEN HE FELL INTO THE HANDS OF ROBBERS. THEY STRIPPED HIM OF HIS CLOTHES, BEAT HIM AND WENT AWAY, LEAVING HIM HALF DEAD. A PRIEST HAPPENED TO BE GOING DOWN THE SAME ROAD, AND WHEN HE SAW THE MAN, HE PASSED BY ON THE OTHER SIDE. SO TOO, A LEVITE, WHEN HE CAME TO THE PLACE AND SAW HIM, PASSED BY ON THE OTHER SIDE. BUT A SAMARITAN, AS HE TRAVELED, CAME WHERE THE MAN WAS; AND WHEN HE SAW HIM, HE TOOK PITY ON HIM. HE WENT TO HIM AND BANDAGED HIS WOUNDS, POURING ON OIL AND WINE. THEN HE PUT THE MAN ON HIS OWN DONKEY, TOOK HIM TO AN INN AND TOOK CARE OF HIM. THE NEXT DAY HE TOOK OUT TWO SILVER COINS AND GAVE THEM TO THE INNKEEPER. 'LOOK AFTER HIM,' HE SAID, 'AND WHEN I RETURN, I WILL REIMBURSE YOU FOR ANY EXTRA EXPENSE YOU MAY HAVE.' "WHICH OF THESE THREE DO YOU THINK WAS A NEIGHBOR TO THE MAN WHO FELL INTO THE HANDS OF ROBBERS?" THE EXPERT IN THE LAW REPLIED, "THE ONE WHO HAD MERCY ON HIM." JESUS TOLD HIM, "GO AND DO LIKEWISE." This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Amen. Text from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION 1978 used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: Jesus' teaching of the Good Samaritan. That story that Jesus used to enhance the lives of our faith, is a very familiar one. It's one we were taught as children in Sunday School; it's one that even people outside of religious circles sometimes point to and discuss because there's a good lesson to be learned. A good lesson about having compassion ... about having mercy. But it always surprises me when I come to this account of the Good Shepherd ... of the events surrounding it. Of the event of a teacher in the Law. Someone who is an expert in the knowledge of religion in applying that faith in his life. That he came to Jesus one day, with a goal. And that goal was to test ... Jesus. To test Him for His knowledge. To find out what He knew. To figure out what He was preaching. Maybe to go and to trip Him up somehow. He went with the mindset that he was somehow going to find Jesus, tripping up, or in a lie. And he comes to Jesus with a very important question. That question about eternal life. What's going to happen after I die? How do I inherit eternal life? And Jesus turns it back on this man and says: Well, what does the Law say? How do you understand, what God's Word says concerning that question? And the expert in the Law has a textbook answer: It's so perfect ... Love your Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself. The summary of the 10 Commandments. The summary of God's Law. Boiled down easily and simply to three words. Love ... God ... love ... neighbor. Jesus says to him: If you do those things ... if you do those things, you will have eternal life. And then comes the interesting question, because now we have a question that reveals some motive in this man. Because he wanted to justify himself. He wanted to hear from Jesus that he was a good person. That he had done something deserving of being praised. He wanted to justify his actions so he asked Jesus: Well, who is my neighbor? Because if we want to justify our actions we can point to the people that it's easy to love. That it's easy to like. That it's easy to do things for people that we find that we are comfortable with, and that we care about and if those are our neighbors, then we have loved our neighbor. But this coming from a man who came with the set purpose to test Jesus. Totally skipping past ... to love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength. And how important that is, in the life of a believer. How important that is in our daily faith to bow and submit to the God who has provided us with everything. The God who has loved us in such a way that He created us to be His own. That He created us as unique individuals to live at this time, at this place, with these people surrounding us. An act of God creating love for us. Not that it's some accident of sex. Not just some randomness of the whole universe. But a God who loved us and created us. A God who loved us and showed that by sending His Son to pay the price that we could not pay. To live the life that we could not live, that that expert in the Law couldn't live because he couldn't obey the Law perfectly. He couldn't love God with all of his heart and he didn't wanna love his neighbor either. And the same thing is true for us. Outside of faith we are the enemies of God. Without knowledge of what God has done and the faith of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we don't see that tremendous love that God poured out on us. But Thank God Himself that He has GIVEN us that Holy Spirit ... that has created faith in our lives to see the love of God's One and Only Son who came here ... to justify us! To look at that account that we had racked up ... of payment after payment, for all of the sins and that payment was eternal condemnation. But the Son of God took my sins on Himself and your sins. In love He took the sins of all people and offered Himself as a sacrifice to wash those sins away. To cancel our debt, so that when we stand in the presence of God ... we stand there in the love of Christ, trusting Him, proclaiming Him. And God is going to declare us NOT GUILTY because of the working of His Son! And then we are justified. We are justified through faith in what God's Son has done. There is the love of God and in our lives we run to God with all thanks and all respect, all honor and all praise for what He has accomplished for us. That that is our DAILY walk of faith. That with each new morning we have new praises to bring to God. That we willingly say to Him: Here is my heart. I offer it to You. Rule there as the One and Only Lord. Here is my life. Take it. I give it in service to You. And I put that into practice. Not going to God to question Him or to twist His Word. Or to try to get Him somehow to make His Word make me feel comfortable. But to hear what He has to say. And to apply it to my life. That's what that expert in the Law stood there in front of Jesus, when Jesus shared with Him that story about a man who was traveling on the road and was beaten nearly to the point of death. And robbed and left for dead. And people that we thought would have had compassion on Him ... a priest and a Levite noticed Him. They SAW him. And they took action in their life. They crossed over to the other side of the street and ACTIVELY ignored him. Left him there. But that Samaritan came along and looked at him, and took pity on him ... had compassion on that man that lay there dying. And he went over to him and he touched him. He helped him. He put ointment on his wounds. He bandaged him up. He put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn. Left him there to heal, to recuperate. Said to that inn owner: I will return and I will pay you whatever it costs to make sure that this man is healed and is taken care of. We know which three of those was the one who was the man's neighbor. It's just like Moses told the Israelites in our Old Testament Lesson: You have the knowledge. It's not up in heaven, so you have to send a messenger up there to get it and bring it down to you. It's not across the sea somewhere, where you gotta send somebody out in a boat to find out what God wants from you. You KNOW what God has asked of you. To love your neighbor. To have compassion on the people around you. Anyone and everyone that you see in need. And that you're to help them. You're not to recognize them and walk away from them ... as if they didn't exist! You're to go up and touch them and help them. And we live in a day and age where we can come up with all kinds of excuses NOT TO DO the Parable of the Good Samaritan. First of all, it could be a trap because he really could be faking it and all I have to do is go up and he's got a knife and I'm dead. And you're in heaven. Not a bad ending! But what if I go to him and he's bleeding and he has some horrible disease that gets transferred by bodily fluids and if I touch him then I'm gonna get it? And die! Back to heaven again! Who of us in our right mind, would take someone to a hotel ... or to the Emergency Room, and say: Here's my credit card. You just take this number, whatever you need to fix this man ... you just put it on my bill. We'd say we were absolutely out of our minds. Because, of course, everyone "out there" is "working an angle" to hurt me! So I put up every wall so that I don't get hurt, I put my blinders on so I don't see those people that need my help and I have every reason NOT to do loving, kind acts for the people that are around me. And that's NOT ... the summary of the Second Table of the Law. It's to love. It's to have compassion. It's to look on people and understand where they're at. Whether that is our spouse, or our children, or our neighbors, or people that we don't even know. Some people we don't even like. But we have to start looking at ourselves and breaking down those barriers. Those barriers that we put up of race. Those barriers that we put up of financial positions. Those barriers that we put up about looks. And rip 'em down ... and see, and have compassion. Because we KNOW what God has asked of us. We understand that. That is our faith. We grow in that faith and knowledge each and every day. We don't do it to justify ourselves. We don't do it for karmas sake ... because if we help someone when they're in need, they're going to help us when we're in need. But we love as Christ loved. Selflessly. Sacrificing. We know what God has asked of us. We see who is our neighbor. And we look at the Samaritan with new fresh eyes and: "GO AND DO LIKEWISE." Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God extend to your lives each and every day and keep you faithful to the point of death. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 17 minutes and 7 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 86
Posted by: hischild on Jul 22, 2010

What does our LORD say about being a good Samaritan in today's world? Contact Pastor Dave @

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