In verse 25 a “certain lawyer” asked Jesus, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (NKJV) Jesus then asked him, “What is written in your law?” The man responded in verse 27: “You should love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind” and “your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus then said, “Do this and you will live” (verse 28). In verse 29 we read, “But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘Who is my neighbor’?” The story that follows in verses 30-35 was given to teach the man that EVERYONE IS YOUR NEIGHBOR, and that we should show love to them when the opportunity arises. The story is really self-explanatory in teaching this, but there was another lesson for the lawyer in it. The man had thought there was something he could do to inherit eternal life and in this simple story the Lord was going to show him that he needed someone else to give him life. Let’s go through this wonderful passage and see what we can learn.

Verse 30: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.”  This “certain man” pictures the sinner who is travelling on the “broad road that leads to destruction” (see Matthew 7:13). The thief represents Satan who has robbed men of a life of righteousness by leading them into sin. Because of this, they are “half dead” (ALIVE physically, but DEAD spiritually…Ephesians 2:1 says we are, “dead in trespasses and sins”). The sinner is absolutely helpless to recover himself. Who will help him?

Verses 31-32: “Now by chance a certain PRIEST came down that road, And when he saw him, HE PASSED BY on the other side. Likewise a LEVITE, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and PASSED BY on the other side.” The PRIEST and the LEVITE who “passed by” illustrate how powerless the Law is to save helpless sinners. All the Law can do is EXPOSE OUR SIN, but it can’t heal our sin. Romans 3:20 declares, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Verses 33-34: “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” Who does the “good Samaritan represent?” Ah, dear friend, he is a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus, who journeyed all the way from heaven to where we are (on earth) in order to help us with our malady of sin. He Himself was “despised and rejected of men (Isaiah 53:3) and His enemies, who hated Samaritans, called Him a “Samaritan” in John 8:48. Yet His heart is full of “compassion” and He went to the cross to take the sinner’s place in death and judgment so that He could heal us of our sin. Isaiah 53:5 speaks of this: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” The “pouring on oil and wine” speaks of His blood (the “wine”; see Matthew 26:27-28) being shed for us, and the Holy Spirit (the “oil”; see 1st John 2:20, 27) being given to us.  Bringing him to “an inn” illustrates the “local church” where the believer is fed and cared for.

Verse 35: “On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denari, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.”  What a precious picture of Christ going back to heaven and leaving us in the care of godly shepherds (typified by the “innkeeper”) who watch over us and care for our soul’s needs. They will surely be rewarded when Christ returns to gather the church to glory. Acts 20:28 reads, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”  (225.5)  (DO)