The Good Samaritan


We’ve all seen the letters WWJD all over the place, some people have them written on their Bibles; some have them written on wristbands and T-shirts. But just exactly do the letters WWJD stand for? Well they simply stand for

What Would Jesus Do

Now I don’t know about you but I think that that is one of the toughest questions we can ask ourselves. You see an old man walking down the street and you think does he need help? What would Jesus do?

You see a beautiful young lady walking down the street when it’s dark and you think, this is a dangerous neighbourhood, I wonder if she would like me to walk her home safely? What would Jesus do?

You see there are people like that in the world; there are people who just think and don’t do anything. And then there are people who just think what would Jesus do and then do nothing. And then there are people who don’t even think, about what would Jesus do because they just do it because they know exactly what Jesus would do.

I would like to share a story with you today about three people who were just like that. But before we read the story let me share with you some background about the story.

“One day, a lawyer asked Jesus what he had to do to have eternal life. When Jesus asked him what God’s Law said, the lawyer answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus answered, “You are right. Do this and you will live.” But the man wanted to make himself look good, so he asked Jesus another question. “Who is my neighbour?” Luke 10:25-29

And so to answer that question Jesus tells this man a parable. Now before we get into the parable let me ask you, who is your neighbour? Is it the person who lives next door to you? Is it your school friends? Or is your neighbour anyone you know?

Well to help us answer that question, Jesus goes on to share the parable of the Good Samaritan.

“There was once a man travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way, he was attacked by robbers.” Luke 10:30

“They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him, and left him half dead beside the road.” Luke 10:30

Have you ever heard of a man named Dick Turpin?

Years ago he was a famous highwayman. Now years ago before we had roads like we have today people used to travel around on horses and carriages. And sometimes they would come under attack by what they called highwaymen. And these highwaymen would stop the carriages and steal everyone’s possessions from them.

That’s what happened here, this poor innocent man was out and about when these robbers jumped out and mugged him. But instead of just stealing his money, they beat him up too.

And so he was in a pretty bad way, fighting for his life and I’m sure if that was you or I we would be grateful to see anyone walk past, so they could help us. Well luckily for this man there was.

“Luckily, a priest happened to be going down the same road, but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.” Luke 10:31

Now when you think about a priest, you think of a godly man who would do anything to help anyone. You think of a man who serves God in His temple doing all the wonderful services for God.

But why did this priest cross the road instead of helping this poor man who was half dead? He must have heard the moans from the man; he must have known he was in a terrible state.

Now there are a few reasons given as to why he didn’t help the man but this priest was certainly a man who thought but that’s all he did. He thought to himself I’m going to cross the road and carry on walking and completely ignore this man’s needs.

Now guys before we go on you need to ask yourself, do you want to be like this priest? He knew what he should have done, but he didn’t. How would you feel if you were out on the street with your friends and you were walking home and some kid beat you up?

How would you feel if you were lying there moaning and you saw someone coming towards you but they just crossed the street and ignored you? You wouldn’t like it would you, but what if you saw a minister with a dog collar on and all his priestly robes on and he crossed the street and ignored you?

You see guys some people in the world will just ignore other people when they have a need, but Christians shouldn’t. Not only should Christians know what to do like the priest in the story but Christians should stop and actually do what Jesus would do.

Now I don’t know about you but what this priest did is certainly not what Jesus would do, is it? So this poor man who was mugged is still lying there half dead, but hey luckily someone else is about to walk past, maybe this guy will help.

“Next a Temple assistant saw him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.” Luke 10:32

Now, this temple assistant is a Levite, because only the Levites could work in the temple. But what’s the difference between this man’s actions and the priest’s actions?

Well basically the priest just crossed the road but this guy stopped and saw him lying there. And after he saw the man lying there, he thought what should I do but then he too crossed to the other side.

So what’s this man’s excuse?

Well, again many excuses have been put forward by people. But the point is he didn’t help. If you were out shopping with your parents and you saw a man getting beat up and people stole his mobile phone, would you just go over, have a look and then walk away?

Of course, you wouldn’t because you know that’s not what Jesus would do. James taught this same principle.

“Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don’t have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!”—if you don’t give them the necessities of life?’ James 2:15-16

Or if James was beside that man who was mugged and these two people walked past he would say, suppose you see a fellow Jew who had just been beaten up lying beside the road, what good would it be to say to him God bless you, someone else will take care of your needs.

What good would it do if you just thought and didn’t help someone who was just beaten up? So this poor man is still lying there fighting for his life, surely someone is going to stop and help him?

“Then a Samaritan came along, when he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him.” Luke 10:33

Now here’s a man who not only knew what Jesus would do, he did it. In fact, he did even more than anyone would expect.

“Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan cleaned his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him onto his donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him”. Luke 10:34

He not only stopped to help the man but he provide for his needs. He helped fix his wounds, took him somewhere safe and warm and took care of him. Now, most people would walk away and say, well that’s my good deed done for the day, aren’t I the religious one.

But the Samaritan took it one step further, he was thinking about the man’s future.

“In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper.” Take good care of him “he said.” If it costs any more, put it on my bill — I’ll pay you on my way back.” Luke 10:35

Although the Samaritan had to go away, he was still thinking about the man’s future. That’s why he left money with the innkeeper to help pay for his bills. And he wanted to go back to make sure he was fully recovering from his ordeal.

You see if he didn’t leave money to pay for the man’s bill, the innkeeper might have thrown him out in the street. And this poor guy would take forever to recover.

Now let me ask you the same question which Jesus asked this lawyer in Luke 10:36.

Which of these three do you think did what Jesus would have done?

The one who had mercy, of course.

The Samaritan took the time to stop and help not just with the man’s immediate problems but by making sure he was well enough to look after himself again.

Let me share another story with you, to help you understand. A certain woman went our driving one day and ran over a spike in the road which punctured her tire and left her stranded by the side of the road. After raising the bonnet of her car and tying a scarf to her radio antenna, she locked the door handles and sat in the car, praying for the Lord to send help!

By chance, a limousine drove past with a bumper sticker that read, “Smile, God Loves You!” When the driver saw the stranded woman, he passed by in the far lane, without smiling.

And likewise, a sports car drove past with a CB radio and a bumper sticker saying, “Honk If You Love Jesus!” The man who was driving passed by in the far lane without honking and without using his CB to tell the police about the woman’s dilemma.

But then came along a certain working man, as he travelled to his job, came to the spot where the woman was and when he saw her raised hood, white scarf, and a flat tire, he had compassion on her. He stopped his old banger of a car, which had no bumper sticker and crossed the four-lane motorway, and offered to change the tire.

The woman opened the door and gave him the key to the boot. The man took out the spare tire, jacked up the car, removed the flat tire, and replaced it with the spare.

When he had finished, the woman tried to pay him. He refused the money, saying, “If my wife were stranded on the motorway with a flat tire, I’d want some Good Samaritan to stop and help her out.” He returned to his bumper-sticker-less truck, smiled, honked at her, and went his way.

Which of these three was a neighbour to the woman who had a flat tire?

That’s right, the man who actually stopped to help. He acted like the Samaritan did in the story; he did what Jesus would have done.

Now I haven’t talked about the Samaritans but who were these people?

Well if you were a Jew like a priest or a Levite you couldn’t stand being around those people, because you thought they were the scum of the earth. And if you saw a Samaritan coming towards you down the street you would just cross over on the other side just in case you caught something from them which would make you unclean.

In fact, they hated them so much look at how this lawyer answered Jesus’ question.

“The one who was kind to him.” Luke 10:37

This man couldn’t bring himself to say the word Samaritan never mind act like one.

And you see that was Jesus’ whole point in the parable. He was saying to that lawyer, ‘you know, you guys are supposed to be God’s people and yet you can’t practise what you preach, you’re all talk with no actions’. ‘You’re supposed to show an example to unbelievers so that they too can see God living in your lives.’

“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 neighbour as yourself.” Luke 10:27

In other words, these Samaritans, these people whom they hated so much and cannot even bring themselves to call them Samaritans, are showing more of an example of Christ’s likeness than that lot were.

Oh, I’m sure the Samaritan could have come up with a few excuses not to help the man but he didn’t. And so loved ones, if you want to be like Jesus, then do what Jesus tells this lawyer to do.

“You go, then, and do the same.” Luke 10:37

The world is full of people today who are in desperate need of a neighbour. And that not only includes the people who live next door to you. That not only includes your school friends and anyone you know. It includes anyone, even the stranger that you don’t know who is in need.

“So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith.” Galatians 6:10

But what excuse will you give for not helping someone in need? You see when you’re helping people you’re doing what God wants you to do.

There was this man who was feeling a bit nervous as he was driving to an important job interview. He was already fifteen minutes late and in a hurry when he passed a middle-aged woman stranded with a flat tire. “My conscience made me stop,” he said. “I changed her tire and headed to the interview, thinking I could just forget about getting the job now.”

But he filled out the job application anyway and went to the Personnel Director’s office. Did he get the job? He sure did. The Personnel Director hired him on the spot. Why? Because she was the woman whose tire he had just changed.

You see when you do the things that are really important in God’s eyes, then God sees that and He will make sure everything else will work out just fine. You guys can all be good like that Samaritan man because you have it in you to help anyone, you really do.

Have you seen the film Kung Fu Panda?

It’s the story about a lazy, irreverent slacker panda, named Po, who is the biggest fan of Kung Fu around which doesn’t exactly come in handy while working every day in his family’s noodle shop.

Now as you know he was unexpectedly chosen to fulfil an ancient prophecy, Po’s dreams become reality when he joins the world of Kung Fu and studies alongside his idols, the legendary Furious Five, Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey, all who were under the leadership of their guru, Master Shifu.

But before they know it, the vengeful and treacherous snow leopard Tai Lung is headed their way, and it’s up to Po to defend everyone from the oncoming threat. Can he turn his dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master into reality? Po puts his heart, and his big tummy into the task and the unlikely hero ultimately finds that his greatest weaknesses turn out to be his greatest strengths.

You see guys you all have it in you to help someone in need, your fear of helping them might actually turn out to be your greatest strength, just like Po.

The question is will you do what the Samaritan did?

Will you do what Jesus would do?