Giving Like a Samaritan or Focus on Godís Kingdom
Luke 10 SCC 4/24/16
Our focus must be on the kingdom of God not the needs of our livesóthatís Godís focus. There are three aspects of this focusÖWhere is your focus each day? Is it eternal or temporal in nature?
FOCUS ON THE DISCIPLESHIP MISSION OF GODíS KINGDOM
††††††††††† What is significant from v 1 is that Jesus expands the ministry beyond the twelve to at least 70. Ministry is not confined to a select few. Expanding number of disciples requires more people receiving the message v 2. They will become the ones who will help to deliver it. However, the mission does involve risk in addition to opportunity v 3. Disciples will serve under duress. Given the danger travel light and press on to the goal v 4. Donít take extra things not essential. Urgency of the mission requires saluting no one along the way. Christlike leaders give challenging assignments to more than just their closest disciples.
††††††††††† The disciples mission is no trivial matter. Blessing or lack of it lies in their message v 5-6. The spiritual benefit the worker brings with the kingdom message is worthy of support v 7-8. That support should be seen as Godís provision along the way. Tangible examples of Gods blessing follow, reflecting the distinctions of that kingdoms and its proximity in Jesus v 9.
††††††††††† People are culpable for their decision about the message and they will miss out on that kingdom because they refuse it v 10-11. Rejection brings severe retribution from God v 12. †These current unbelieving cities are on bottom of Godís listóobjects of his wrath v 13-14. Even Capernaum, the center of Jesusí ministry, faces judgment for rejection v 15. Rejecting the disciples message is rejecting Jesus and his message v 16. Christianity is the faith of the apostleís message from Jesus.
NB: If you are trying to get right with God by dealing with your sin, you will never be saved. What sends an unbeliever to hell is his sin. But what keeps an unbeliever out of heaven has nothing to do with sin. He goes to hell because he is a sinner, he does not go to heaven because he has not received Christ. Excitement of the missionís success is based in representing Jesus power v 17. Their ministry spells defeat for Satan v 18. Hostile forces and what they represent can be opposed and crushed v 19. Instead of focusing on this power and authority, focus on the gracious secure standing before God v 20.
While Satan is cast down from heaven, disciples rejoice that they are part of the heavenly census.
††††††††††† Jesus is pleased with the Fathers work over Satan and on behalf of his dependent discipleís v 21. This is the closest Jesus ever came to being happy. Generally, He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3), but here He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit resulting in an amazing prayer.
This verse shows: (1) Godís sovereignty; (2) intimacy of relationship between Jesus and God; (3) privilege of the discipleís participation in this mission; (4) praise to God that should result in gratitude for position the disciples have. Knowledge of the Father is left in Jesus hands and is given to whomever the son wishes to reveal it v 22. The disciples are blessed and experience Godís favor because of what they see v 23. The reason so honored is many past greats longed for this experience v 24.
There are 4 specific teaching statements to be noted in this section:
1. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest (v 2). Which is interesting in that the place was full of religious leaders, Pharisees, Sadducees, elders, chief priests etc.
2. I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves (v 3). That is with no physical earthly power.
3. The laborer is worthy of his wages (v 7). Support should come from work, while you work, from those who you serve.
4. Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven (v 20). So the question is not how much God uses you or how successful your ministry is but whether God has you in His book of lifeólife eternally valuable or of eternal net worth.
FOCUS ON THE COMPASSIONATE MINISTRY OF GODíS KINGDOM
††††††††††† The Lawyers request is how can one be sure to be saved in the final resurrection v 25. What is Godís revealed will about this Jesus asks him v 26. He can give his own answer from this source. At the heart of entering the future life is a relationship of devotion that places God at the center of oneís spiritual life and responds to others in love v 27. Jesus told him, do this and you will live v 28. But of course none of us perfectly loves God and our neighbor so the Lawyer asks for a definition of his neighbor. The lawyer attempts to circumvent the command by trying to define and thus restrict who oneís neighbor is. He wished to soften the demand and not feel sense of obligation v 29.
††††††††††† The traveler is outnumbered was fighting for his life v 30. A priest chanced by, one we would expect to assist, but he gave no help v 31. A Levite who also represents official Judaism approaches, took a closer look, and also gave no help v 32. An entirely unexpected participant, a Samaritan, arrived and showed compassion v 33. Here is the essence of being a neighbor; having the sensitivity to see a need and act to meet it in seven concrete compassionate ways: (1) comes up to him; (2) binds his wounds; (3) anoints cuts with oil and wine; (4) loads man on own mule; (5) takes him to an inn; (6) where he can provide care ad comfort; (7) and foots the entire bill v 34-35. He does not dump and run but stays the night to care for him. The Samaritan has taken care of the entire problem.
††††††††††† Jesus asks the lawyerís opinion about neighborliness v 36. The lawyer cannot bring himself to say the ĎSamaritaní but gets to the essence focusing on one showing mercy v 37. Jesus says emulate the Samaritan. Love for God is expressed by compassion for others. Jesus rejects all attempts to shrink the scope of responsibility. The lawyer is looking for minimum obedience required, but Jesus requires total obedience. The lawyerís question about identifying his neighbor is really an attempt to say there is such a person as a non-neighbor. Jesus refuses to turn people into a subspecies or things that can be ignored.
NB: The parable shows that compassion is harder than law keeping. The principle is give individually to anyone i.e. any individual who you come across on your path with an individual need. This is: (1) individual giving. And it is (2) for a need, not necessarily to the poor. The beaten had a need requiring something essential which he could not provide for himself. (3) His need was also obvious. He did not have to hold up a sign, or explain that he had one. (4) The good Samarian who helped him did not give him money. He used money to buy help for the beaten man, he did not simply hand him some cash. We should teach compassion over religion as a characteristic of the kingdom of God. The neighbor was the one who showed compassion not the religious leaders who walked past.
FOCUS ON THE BIBLICAL MESSAGE OF GODíS KINGDOM
††††††††††† While traveling Jesus is welcomed into Marthaís home v 38. Her sister, Mary. Takes the initiative to sit at Jesusí feet and listen to his word v 39. She continually listens to the Lords teaching.
Martha is slaving away alone preparing the meal. She is distracted by doing so and miffed at Mary for not helping so she asks Jesus to show his concern for her by telling Mary to help her.
††††††††††† Jesus sensitively paints a picture of a woman overwhelmed v 41. Mary has chosen the one thing that counts. Mary has chosen the right meal, the word of God to sustain her. Martha should slow down and relax. The disciple should never be to busy to sit at Jesusí feet.
NB: Response to Godís Word is most important for a disciple. To sit at Jesus feet is the discipleís priority. The worries of life, immediate, sudden or sustained, should never prevent one from consuming Godís Word and devour his teaching as the most important meal. Preparations are a good thing, but the good thing is often the enemy of the best thing. Jesusí point was only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part. It wasnít that Marthaís preparations were wrong. It was her worry about them, which kept her from Christís words, which was wrong. The problem was her being distracted by her duties to the point of confusing the urgent with the important.
††††††††††† We should prioritize the use of our time because only one thing is truly valuable and that is Jesus teaching. Jesus focus was on the Kingdom of God, not the needs of this earth. He had no home. He stayed with Peter in Capernaum and probably with these sisters and Lazarus when He was near Jerusalem. He was supported by gifts and He believed God would meet his needs like the lilies of the field.† So Maryís priorities were more in line with those of Jesus.
1. Each day requires that we are attentive to the eternal value of attached to our decisions and priorities.
2. Oneís love of God is always 100% expressed through our love of our neighbor whenever in need.
3. Rigorous adherence to the Word of God is absolutely essential to our spiritual and personal welfare.