Sermon #70[i]                                               Luke Sermons


      Title:               The Good Samaritan

      Text:               Luke 10:25-37

      Subject:          Christ the Good Samaritan

      Tape #       W-81a



I want to preach to you tonight about the good Samaritan. Our text will be Luke 10:25-37.


I cannot tell you how disappointing it has been to read the commentaries, comments and sermons I have read this week on this passage of Scripture. Almost everything I could find on this passage displayed a very great fear that men might make it too spiritual, make it all about Christ and the gospel of his grace, and fail to instruct people in the practice of legal obedience.


Needless to say, I have no intention of handling (mishandling) the text in such a horrid manner. Rather, as we go through these verses together, I will tell you exactly what our Savior meant for us to learn from this famous, but rarely understood story. Hold your Bible open on your lap and follow along. You will not be able to miss our Lord’s doctrine in this story.


We are not told whether this is a narrative of fact or merely a story, a parable, our Lord used to illustrate the gospel. That is really unimportant.[1]


Parable’s Purpose


Our Master’s purpose in giving us this story was to show us the utter impossibility of salvation by the works of the law, and his own glorious, sweet blessedness and efficacy as the sinner’s only Friend.


That this is the intent of the narrative before us is obvious. The story was given in response to the question raised by a lost, self-righteous religionist, a man who hoped to justify himself before God and in his own conscience by his religious devotion.


The Key


(Luke 10:25-27)  "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? {26} He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? {27} And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."


The word lawyer here does not refer to the kind of lawyer we think of when we use that term. This lawyer was a lawyer of the absolute worst kind. He was worse than an ambulance chaser or one of those “Call Me, Let’s Sue” men you see in television ads. This man was a religious lawyer, a scribe. He was one of those men who are absolutely devoted to religion, religious works, and religious activity. He was a man who thoroughly believed he could make himself worthy of God’s acceptance, if he just put his mind to it! He is called a “lawyer” because he was a scribe, a promoter of law religion!


His purpose in raising his learned and pious question was to tempt the Son of God. He was trying to get him to say something against the law. He was trying to catch him in a slip up, and thereby demonstrate the Master’s ignorance of Holy Scripture. He wanted to discredit the Lord of Glory and discredit the gospel of God’s free, sovereign, saving grace in him!


So he asked a very sincere sounding question. – “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” You will remember that this was the same question raised by the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17. They were both cut from the same bolt of cloth. Both sought eternal life by the works of the law, by the doing of their own hands.


The Master answered him with a question of his own. – “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” The man came seeking to justify himself by the law, so the Master sends him to the law. You see, those who seek righteousness by the law simply do not understand the law.


(Galatians 4:21)  "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?"


(Galatians 2:19-21)  "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. {20} I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. {21} I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."


(Galatians 3:10)  "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."


When the Lord Jesus asked him what the law required, this fine specimen of religion answered him without the least hesitation. – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."


·        He had a bad case of versitus! – He had a verse for everything!

·        This was one of those Scriptures the Pharisees carried in their phylacteries. – They recited it every morning and every evening, like a papist rubs his rosary beads for good luck!

·        This poor, deluded soul, this empty-hearted, empty-headed, religionist, like the Jews at Sinai, was perfectly confident that he had done this and would continue to do it (Oh, by the grace of God, of course!) in a manner completely acceptable to God.


Now, watch the Master’s answer in verse 28.


(Luke 10:28)  "And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."


This man understood the letter of the law. His only problem was that he did not know what the letter means! Our Lord here declares what this poor man indeed, few men understand. -- Eternal life is not to be had without a complete and perfect obedience to all that is required in the law. If you would be saved (justified, sanctified, assured of acceptance, made righteous in any way or to any degree) by keeping the law, you’ve got to keep it!


·        You must love God perfectly.

·        You must love your neighbor (your worst, most implacable enemy) perfectly!

·        It is impossible to obtain eternal life by obedience to the law for one very obvious reason. – No sinful man can obey God’s law!


Verse 29


The Master’s declaration is just this. – Righteousness cannot be obtained by law obedience, by legal works, by anything a man can do. But, like most people, this man ignored the Lord’s word and, rather than acknowledging his failure and sin, attempted to justify himself. He was embarrassed and had to cover!


(Luke 10:29)  "But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?"


If only he could make the law say and require less than it does, he might be able to find comfort in it, or at least make people think he finds comfort in it. Therefore, ignoring what he had just quoted about loving God with all his heart, he says, “And who is my neighbor?” – The indication seems to have been. I have loved my neighbor and do!

·        My Family.

·        My Relatives.

·        My Kinsmen.

·        My Nation!


That’s easy. They’re yours! But our neighbor, those God requires us to love, and love as ourselves, are not our family and friends, but our worst enemies!


Proposition: The law requires that we do what no man can do; but Christ the God-man has done for us precisely what the law requires!


The Lord Jesus Christ came down here to fulfill the law for us, loving God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself. This is what the story of the good Samaritan declares.


(Romans 5:6-8)  "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. {7} For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. {8} But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."


Divisions: All right, let’s look at the story. It speaks of…

·        A Certain Man,

·        A Priest and a Levite, and

·        A Certain Samaritan.


I. A Certain Man


(Luke 10:30)  "And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead."


Remember, our Lord’s purpose here is to answer this religious legalist who desired to justify himself.

·        He is not giving out a lesson on brotherly love. He does that elsewhere. To do so here would be like saying to this self-righteous legalist -- “You’re on the right course. See that you follow through and you will be just fine.’

·        Our Lord’s purpose here was to expose this man’s sin, show him the utter folly of his hope, and tear down his refuse of lies.

·        Our Lord’s purpose was to show this man and us the utter necessity of salvation by a Substitute.


This certain man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho is our father Adam[2] who went down from his original state, fell among thieves, who stripped him, wounded him, and left him half dead.


Two Men


A.     This describes the sin and fall of our race in that certain representative man Adam.


As this man went down from Jerusalem, which stood on high ground, to Jericho, which was in a low place, so our father Adam and all the human race in him went down. How far down we went when Adam sinned in the Garden, when we sinned against God in him!


      Illustration: Is this Naomi?


(Ecclesiastes 7:29)  "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions."


·        Adam fell from a state of happiness into misery.

·        From a state of uprightness into a state of groveling baseness.

·        From a state of righteousness into a state of sin.

·        From a state of acceptance and communion with God into a state of separation and woe.

·        From a state of blessedness into a state of cursedness.

·        From a state of peace (Jerusalem) into a state of condemnation (Jericho).

·         From a state of unity into a state of enmity.

·        From a state of worship into a state of sensuality.


B.     This man, in his journey from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among thieves. – So did we!


When we forsook our Creator, when we rebelled against God, our race fell into the hands of two thieves, sin and Satan. – How they have robbed us!


·        Of Honor – The Image of God!

·        Of Nobility – Living for the Glory of God!

·        Leaving us in a state of utter depravity and spiritual deprivation!

·        They have stripped us of righteousness, leaving us naked. – Fallen man is a naked creature, has nothing with which to cover himself, and stands exposed to the law, justice, and wrath of God. We are a people totally destitute of righteousness, with no ability to perform righteousness, justify ourselves, and bring ourselves back into Divine favor!


      Illustration: I’ve seen better days.


C.     As they have stripped us and robbed us, sin and Satan have wounded us and left the entire human race half dead.


This does not suggest anything to deny the total depravity and spiritual death of our race. Rather it is an accurate picture of it.

·        We are alive physically, but dead spiritually.

·        We are under the sentence of eternal death; but it is a sentence that is not yet executed.

·        Like the nation described in Isaiah 1, we are a people wounded with an incurable wound, but for the balm of sovereign grace, covered from head to toe with wounds and bruises, and putrefying sores.

·        The plague of our race is a heart plague that none can heal but the Son of God.


II. A Priest and A Levite


(Luke 10:31-32)  "And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. {32} And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side."


These two men represent the whole law of God, moral and ceremonial, and show us the utter inability of the law to save, or even to help fallen man. As such, they represent the whole of works religion. – They declare in loud, clear, thunderous words, “By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified!


(Romans 8:1-4)  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. {2} For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: {4} That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."


(Hebrews 10:1-9)  "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. {2} For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. {3} But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. {4} For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. {5} Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: {6} In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. {7} Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. {8} Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; {9} Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second."


The Priest


Look at the picture drawn by our Lord in Luke 10:31-32. When this priest saw this poor wretch, he passed by on the other side. -- When he saw the poor soul naked, and in such a bloody condition, he crossed the road, lest he be defiled by coming into contact with such a corrupt, vile thing! – Nothing so hardens the hearts of men as self-righteous, legalistic religion. Nothing on earth makes a man more useless to men than legalism! Nothing is more cruel than religion without Christ; and nothing makes men more crueler to one another!


The Levite


Likewise, a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side!” Can you picture the scene? This fine Levite comes over, takes a look at the poor creature laying in the gutter, wallowing in his blood, and shakes his head. I can almost hear him as he crosses the street, He shakes his head and says, in very humble, teary tones, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” But he still crossed the street without any effort to help, comfort, or assist the man.


The priest and the Levite both passed by without the slightest movement of heart toward this poor soul. They did not help. They could not help. They did not and could not fetch any help. And They did not even point the poor man in the direction of help. They left him exactly as they found him. He was not one wit better off because they passed his way!


A thought just flashed across my mind and burned into my heart. – O my God, don’t allow me to come into contact with any needy soul and leave him no better off than he was before!


Still, the thing our Lord is showing us here is the utter inability of the law to help fallen man. It was never the purpose of the law to do so.


Law Unbending


Be sure you hear and understand what God says about this. There is no mercy  in the law. The law will not and cannot abate its demands. The law makes no allowance for the weakness of our condition. The law gives no consideration to age, position, knowledge, environment, or circumstance. The law simply demands perfection or death.


·        The law leaves us where it finds us.

·        The gospel does not teach men and women to live by or obey the law. – The gospel teaches us to seek to honor God in all things.


The law is no milder in this Gospel age than it was at Mt. Sinai. It will not and cannot accept an imperfect, though very sincere obedience. It demands perfect holiness, inward and outward, without a flaw!


The law is deaf to the cries of sorrow, repentance, and fear. It demands perfection. It offers no relief, no hope, no cure to anyone. The law can do nothing except show us our nakedness, our wretchedness, our helplessness, our guilt, and our doom. It can do nothing else. All the law does is condemn and kill. It cannot give life. It is a ministration of death, nothing else!


·        It terrifies, but never comforts.

·        It condemns, but never gives hope.

·        It brings despair, but never peace.

·        It wounds, but never heals.

·        The law cannot come down to us.

·        The law cannot touch us.

·        All the law can do is condemn and kill.


Help must be had from another. We need someone to come to us in our low, fallen, depraved, helpless ruin, someone who will be a true friend, a friend to meet our need, without looking to us for anything. Thanks be unto God, the Lord Jesus Christ is just such a Friend! Look at Luke 10:33-35


III. A Certain Samaritan


(Luke 10:33-35)  "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, {34} And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. {35} And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee."


This Good Samaritan is the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. No, our Savior was not a Samaritan, but a Jew, a son of Abraham. But the Jews called him a Samaritan (John 8:48) and treated him as such, as one who was utterly hated and despised by them. Our Lord takes the titled. He came here to love his neighbor, to do good to his neighbor, to help his fallen neighbor, to save those who are his sworn enemies!


(Romans 5:6-8)  "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. {7} For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. {8} But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."


Look at these three verses in Luke 10, and learn how the Son of God saves poor, needy sinners by his almighty grace.


A.     He took a journey. – His Incarnation and Sojourn in this World.

B.     He came to where we were. – In Substitution.

C.     When he saw us, he had compassion on us! – From Eternity! – Through all the Ages of Time! – In All Circumstances!

D.    He came to us! – First, the Samaritan came to where this man was. Then, “he went to him.” -- When we could not and would not come to him, he came to us!

E.     He bound up all our wounds! – Heart and Conscience Wounds! – Pouring in the Oil of His Spirit (Grace) and the Wine of His Blood!

F.      He set us on his own beast. – The Red Horse of His Holy Humanity (Zech. 1:8). – The White Horse Of His Gospel, Upon Which He Rides Triumphantly Through The Ages Of Time!

G.    He brought us into his Inn, the Church and House of God, where he sees to our constant care.


·        The Host of the Inn is a Faithful Pastor.

·        The Two Pence is the price of Redemption under the Law – ½ shekel (Ex. 30:11-16). – His Blood and His Righteousness!

·        He has charged his servants to take care of his people. – The Faithful Ministry of the Word (Jer. 3:15).

·        He promises his servants that whatever it costs to care for his people he will repay when he comes again.


IV. An Impossible Command


Now, look at verses 36-37. Here, our Lord shuts us up to the free grace of God in him. He does so by issuing an impossible command.


(Luke 10:36-37)  "Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? {37} And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise."


If you would justify yourself, this is all you have to do. Be a neighbor, be a Good Samaritan!


·        Love your most implacable enemies, all of them, just like you love yourself.

·        Pay all their debt to God!

·        Lift them from the dead.

·        Deliver them from the curse.

·        Bring them to Glory!


If you would justify yourself, all you have to do is meet all the demands of God’s holy law perfectly, without a flaw.


The only way a sinner can ever be saved, the only way we can ever be justified with God is by Christ, by faith in the Son of God.


(Romans 3:19-26)  "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. {20} Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. {21} But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; {22} Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: {23} For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; {24} Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: {25} Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; {26} To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."


(Romans 3:31)  "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."


(Romans 5:12-21)  "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: {13} (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. {14} Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. {15} But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. {16} And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. {17} For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) {18} Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. {19} For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. {20} Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: {21} That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."



Have you ever read the story of Eddie Rickenbacher?

Imagine this scene: You are on the Florida coast, not far from a little town near Jacksonville called Switzerland. The sun is setting like a gigantic orange ball. It's a cool evening on a vacant, isolated stretch of beach. The water is lapping at the shore, the breeze is blowing slightly. There are one or two joggers and a couple of fisherman. Most people have gone home for the day.

You look up and you see an old man with bent shoulders, bushy eyebrows, and bony features hobbling down the beach carrying a bucket. He carries the bucket out onto a pier. He stands there and you notice he is looking up into the sky and all of a sudden you see a mass of dancing dots. You soon recognize that they are seagulls. They are coming out of nowhere. The man takes out of his bucket handfuls of shrimp and begins to throw them on the dock. The seagulls come and land all around him. Some land on his shoulders, some land on his hat, and they eat the shrimp. Long after the shrimp are gone his feathered friends linger. The old man and the birds.

What is going on here? Why is this man feeding seagulls? What could compel him to do this--as he does week after week?

The man in the scene is Eddie Rickenbacher, a famous World War II pilot. His plane, "The Flying Fortress," went down in 1942 and no one thought he would be rescued. Perhaps you have read or heard how he and his eight passengers escaped death by climbing into two rafts for thirty days. They fought thirst, the sun, and sharks. Some of the sharks were nine feet long. The boats were only eight feet long. But what nearly killed them was starvation. Their rations were gone within eight days and they didn't have anything left.

Rickenbacher wrote that even on those rafts, every day they would have a daily afternoon devotional and prayer time. One day after the devotional, Rickenbacher leaned back and put his hat over his eyes and tried to get some sleep. Within a few minutes he felt something on his head. He knew in an instant it was a seagull which had perched on his raft. But he knew that they were hundreds of miles out to sea. Where did this seagull come from? He was also certain that if he didn't get that seagull he would die. Soon all the others on the two boats noticed the seagull. No one spoke, no one moved. Rickenbacher quickly grabbed the seagull and with thanksgiving, they ate the flesh of the bird. They used the intestines for fish bait and survived.

Eddie Rickenbacher never forgot that visitor who came from a foreign place. That sacrificial guest. Every week, he went out on the pier with a bucket of shrimp and said thank you, thank you, thank you.

That's what you and I are called to do in response to God's grace and mercy in Christ.


[Romans 12:1-2]  "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."



[1] A parable is used to illustrate and teach one specific thing, not many things, just one specific thing.


[2] There are only two certain men mentioned in the text. The thieves, the priest, and the Levite were utterly insignificant. So there are but two men with whom God works, two men by whom God deals with all men: The First Adam and The Last Adam (A Certain Man and a Certain Samaritan (Rom. 5:12-20).

:[i]Tape #W-81a

Readings: Bob Poncer & Merle Hart

Danville – (Sunday PM - )1/20/02) -- Rescue Baptist Church, Rescue, CA (Friday – 01/25/02) – Todds RD Baptist Church, Lexington, KY (Wednesday – 01/23/02) – Wichita Falls, TX (02/13/02) --  Laird St. Baptist Church, (Saturday PM – 02/16/02) – Mid-South Baptist Church, Merigold, MS (Friday PM – 04/22/02) – Victory Chapel Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC (Friday – 05/17/02) Bethel Baptist Church-Spring Lake, NC (Friday 06/07/02).