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The text for this lesson is Luke 10:25–37

Key Point

  • God calls us to act in love toward all people, even our enemies, but we often pass by on the other side, ignoring our neighbor in need. Jesus is the Good Samaritan to us, healing us from sin and restoring us to eternal life.
  • Law: God’s command to love my neighbor is a command to be perfectly compassionate to everyone I meet.
  • Gospel: Though I fall short, Jesus is the Good Samaritan, who binds up my brokenness, forgives my sin, and restores me to eternal life.

Discussion Points

  1. Share an experience when you were stranded (while traveling, when locked out of a car or house, through a mechanical breakdown, etc.), recalling your thoughts and feelings each time a potential helper came by and, then, when actual help arrived.
  2. Read Luke 10:25–37. What do you think the lawyer’s purpose was in asking, “Who is my neighbor?”
  3. Think about the Ten Commandments (no other gods, use of God’s name, rest/worship, parents/authorities, murder, theft, etc.). What kinds of questions do we find ourselves asking that are similar to the lawyer’s in verse 29? (For example, “Yes, but what really is worship? Can’t I worship on the golf course just as well as in a sanctuary?”) What do you think we are up to when we raise such questions?
  4. The priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan each had a time plan as they traveled. The priest and Levite maintained their plans uninterrupted, but the Samaritan sacrificed his for the welfare of the victimized man. As you list the actions the Samaritan did (vv. 33–35), talk about how much effort each took. What sacrifices did the Samaritan make for the man left half-dead on the roadside?
  5. Love and mercy are demonstrated by sacrificial acts that benefit others. The lawyer in the story is a victim of his own self-interested thinking (trying to test Jesus and justify his own life). Rather than “passing by on the other side” of the lawyer’s self-obsessed thoughts, what does Jesus do for him? In other words, how does Jesus play the role of the Good Samaritan for the lawyer?
  6. The story of the Good Samaritan reveals how much effort is involved in loving a neighbor. As we measure our lives against Jesus’ standard of love, it’s clear that we don’t (indeed, can’t!) do all that the Law requires. Like the victim in the story, the Law exposes us as helpless. How can you see Jesus as the Good Samaritan for you and for a world of sinners? Think of the many sacrificial acts Jesus has done, and how costly they were to Him, though beneficial for us.
  7. The lawyer’s question in verse 25 was based on a false assumption, that eternal life is something our actions can obtain. Read Titus 3:4–8. On the basis of what Paul wrote, and thinking about what Jesus teaches in the story of the Good Samaritan, how does God’s Word teach that a sinner becomes an heir of eternal life?
  8. The story of the Good Samaritan reveals how much effort is involved in loving a neighbor. In response to being made God’s heirs through faith in Jesus, what does the story of the Good Samaritan teach us about being people who are “careful to devote themselves to good works” (Titus 3:8)?

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