Monday, 26 August 2013

The Good Samaritan ( Sunday Sermon Review )

Sunday August 25, 2013

Our speaker today was Jacob Friesen from Winnipeg. His text was the story of The Good Samaritan and he spoke of how to practically love our new neighbors.

The Good Samaritan helps the man fallen by the wayside.
picture from vimeo.com

The Story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37 reads as follows:

25 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.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
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.
31 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.
33 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.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Here are my notes from the sermon and also some of my thoughts.

*In the Old Testament we see how the people are always on the move. In our day and time we see many people on the move and foreigners, refugees and displaced peoples making their home in Canada.

*God is in the midst of all that is happening. He is working in the lives of people across the globe - both in the lives of people who know and love Him and He is also moving in the lives of those who do not know Him yet reaching out to them to bring them to Himself.

*Our neighborhoods are changing.

*In our text an expert in the law comes to Jesus to test Him. He asks Jesus a very important question "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus responds with a question - "What is written in the law? how readest thou?" The lawyer responds using the Old Testament to answer. Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. and Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
Jesus tells him that he has answered correctly and then instructs him to do this. But the lawyer is looking to justify himself and so asks the question " And who is my neighbour?" So Jesus tells a story.
We ask ourselves the same question. "Who is my neighbor?" Does Jesus mean it includes more than our friends and family and those living in close proximity to us? Does it include those who are suffering in far off places such as Egypt and Syria? 

*The Jews did not like the Samaritans. The Samaritans had willingly chosen to live outside God's directions. Therefore the Jews rejected them. But in our story today a Samaritan comes to the aid of a Jew ( a man who normally would reject all Samaritans )
We are to do as this Samaritan did. We are to go to people who are not like us, people who do not look like us, even to people who believe in false religions. We can show the love of Jesus to all people regardless of background or position in life.

*Everyday we see opportunities to participate in what God is doing all around us. Often we become overwhelmed and do not know where to begin. We feel that the small impact we could make would be but a drop in the bucket of the overwhelming needs of those near and far. This should never stop us from doing a small kindness. We need to respond where and however we can as the opportunities present themselves.

* We need to be careful to not pass by the needs of those close by.

* We are conditioned to be neighborly to certain people, people who are like us but we must begin to step outside of our normal circle of friends and outside of our comfort zone.

*Jesus says to love our enemies.

*Let's stop passing by people who really need our encouragement, people who need a friendly "hello" or "how are you". Remember to always make the next right and loving choice.

*When we do the hard stuff we will experience the love and grace of God in our own lives.

*God is faithful, God is at work!

*We must not stay within our own little bubble - be open to God's leading, and obey His leading!

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