26 Sep Quarter Four Lesson Three
Growing Through Finding the Gospel in Parables
As we continue our studies in learning how to grow into maturity, that is, how to reproduce and have spiritual children, we are learning the importance of keeping the gospel central to our ministry toward unbelievers and believers alike.
Let us now continue our study, and in this lesson we are going to see how the gospel is hidden in the parables that Jesus tells. Please read the following passage and answer the questions below:
“But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:29-37 (ESV)
Question 1. In this parable Jesus spoke of a man who went from Jerusalem to Jericho. What happened to this man? Please describe his situation and his condition:
Question 2. How many men came along the road after this incident, and what did each one of them do?
Question 3. Please name each specific thing that the Samaritan did for the injured man.
This parable is an interesting story about a man traveling along a road who fell into the hands of robbers. The robbers stripped him and beat him and left him on the side of the road, half dead.
Then several religious people came along the road and bypassed the hurting man. We can picture them putting their hand up on the side of their face, shielding their eyes from even having to see the injured man, as they passed by on the other side of the road.
Finally, a Samaritan man came by, he saw the beaten man, came to where he was, and had compassion on him. The Samaritan bound up the injured man’s wounds, poured on the healing oil and wine, then took him to a hotel and paid for his rest. This, says Jesus, is how to be a neighbor; that is, how to love your neighbor as yourself.
But in the telling of this story, Jesus, like all prophets before Him, spoke of the gospel.
Question 4. Where do we see the gospel in the parable that Jesus told?
This is somewhat of a sad story isn’t it? It is sad not only for the man who was robbed and beaten up, but also for the religious people who were indifferent to his plight. This poor man was hurt so badly that he was laying on the side of the road half dead, but the religious people carelessly went on about their way unwilling to help him. Only the Samaritan had compassion on the wounded man and came to his aid.
Since it is very important to see the gospel in this and every passage of Scripture we must look beyond the surface of the story to find the foundational truth. Upon consideration, we can see the man who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead as a true picture of what sin does to all human beings. Satan comes to “kill, steal and destroy” (John 10:10), and the true effects of sin is that it leaves us “half dead.” Half dead is a very accurate picture of our condition in sin, for while we are alive physically, we are dead spiritually:
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” Ephesians 2:1-2 (NIV)
Question 5. Please describe how Ephesians 2:1-2 described your past life. In what ways were you “dead” in trespasses and sins, in which you “lived”?
To be “dead” while we “live” is to be half-dead; the very situation that the poor man in Jesus’ parable found himself. This is our condition in unbelief and rebellion against God. Sin steals our relationship with God, it robs us of all joy; it takes our hope and destroys our love. It leaves us half-dead: alive to sin and the urges and passions of our flesh, but dead to God.
It is important to understand that in this condition religion will do nothing for us. What we mean by religion is that we try to be better; we promise to start keeping God’s laws. Perhaps we vow to try harder not to sin; we fast and pray and read and exert all kinds of efforts to make ourselves right. All religious laws can only tell us what we are doing wrong and command us to stop. All religion is completely futile, for never has a dead man made himself alive by attempts to keep the law. Religion passes us by on the other side of the road, not able to help us one bit.
Jesus, like the Good Samaritan, came to where we were. That is, He left Heaven to come to this earth, took on a human body, and entered into our humanity. He came close; He drew near to us in our fallen condition.
Question 6. Why did Jesus come near to us? Please write out Luke 10:33 and explain why Jesus came to this earth.
The answer is that Jesus came to this earth because He had compassion on us in our condition. He saw us in our misery and knew we were hurting badly due to our sin. His heart was touched. He felt our pain. He had compassion on us.
Some will teach that Jesus came to this earth in obedience to His Father, to reveal the glory of God, to keep the covenant planned from before time began, and for many other reasons. These are all true according to Scripture. But here in this parable, we get a glimpse into the heart of Jesus Christ: He had compassion on us; He felt sympathy in His heart, and so He came to help us.
Question 7. Please consider and then answer the following question, and explain your reasoning. If you were this bruised and beaten man who was laying on the side of the road half dead, would you want someone to come along and tell you how you should not have been on that road, tell you how you did wrong in not protecting yourself, judge you for having walked on the road at the wrong time of day, etc.? Or would you want someone who had compassion in his heart for you and who came over to help you?
Religion will only judge you and condemn you for what you have done wrong. The Law of God can only condemn you and require punishment, which the Bible describes as “eternal torment” in the “lake of fire”—hell! (Revelation 14:11). Jesus, on the other hand, has compassion and will come near to help you!
Jesus, however, did not only feel compassion, and He did not just come near to us. If we read the rest of the parable we get the rest of the gospel picture.
The Samaritan man poured oil and wine on the injured man’s bruises and wounds, providing the healing ointment for his injuries. Likewise, Jesus’ death on the cross was for the purpose of healing us from our sin wounds.
“By His stripes you are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)
But even more, the Samaritan put the injured man on his own animal, took him to the place of rest, and paid for his stay there. Likewise, Jesus’ went to the cross and was lifted up to die that we might rest from our own efforts at being righteous, that we might have rest and deliverance from the bondage and the burden of our sin. Jesus said to those under the burden of the Law, “come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Now, all who believe this good news become true Sabbath-keepers, resting in Jesus’ finished work on the cross (see Hebrews 4:3).
One final word of encouragement from this parable is found in verse 35:
“And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’” Luke 10:35 (ESV)
Question 8. How does Luke 10:35 explain one of the benefits of the gospel? What are your thoughts?
It turns out that the Samaritan had to leave, but he clearly said that when he returned he would pay for any other charges run up on the injured one’s account. It is as if he left his credit card with the inn-keeper to pay for whatever the injured man owed for any future charges.
Dear friend, do you realize that not only has Jesus healed you through His death on the cross, not only has He taken you to the place of rest, but Jesus has also paid for your entire debt of sin—past, present and future?
As Phillip Bliss wrote in his hymn of long ago:
Guilty, vile and helpless we
Spotless Lamb of God was He
Full atonement can it be
Halleluiah! What a Savior!
Yes, the atonement Jesus made for your sin was “full.” This is why when Jesus died on the cross He said “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Those words of Jesus’, “It is finished” were found in tax collectors’ receipt books early in the first century, and are translated as “Paid in Full!” The truth is, regarding your sins, dear friend, there is nothing left to pay. You don’t owe a dime!
Question 9. How does the understanding of the Samaritan paying for all charges of the injured man, even future ones, resonate with you just now? What affect does it have on you as you consider this truth?
What a beautiful picture of the gospel Jesus gave us in the parable of the Good Samaritan. And now the question comes to us, how do I apply this passage to my own life, to help me grow into being a father and reproducing Christ in the lives of others?
Here are a couple of thoughts from this parable that we can apply:
1. First, look for somebody who has been beaten.
Sadly, there are many different ways that people can be beaten up and many of them leave no physical scars whatsoever. People can be beat up emotionally as well as physically. They can have relational scars. They can be spiritually beaten up by the devil and their sin.
The point is, if we want to be fruitful in ministry we want to look for people who have been stripped of the clothing of their own self-righteousness, who have lost much through sin, who have been beaten up by the devil and their own flesh.
2. Secondly, in compassion go to where they are. Get close.
Jesus did not shout down to us from Heaven, but because He had a heart of compassion He came to where we are, took on our humanity, and lived and walked among us.
“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17 (ESV)
3. Finally, share the gospel. The gospel is that which clothes the naked; heals the wounded, and gives rest to the beaten. In sharing the gospel with them, you help them to see that through the gospel they are forgiven of all their sins, that their wrongs are paid for by Jesus, and that He purchased rest and healing for them.
This is loving like Jesus loved. It is being a neighbor to someone. It is true gospel ministry.
We want to share a modern day illustration of this ancient parable with you. One of our board members here at Gospel Growth Ministries is a dear brother by the name of Shon. One day Shon was riding his motorcycle into work, but happened to notice a man walking on the side of the road alone. Shon stopped his motorcycle and talked with the man for a while. It turned out that the man was homeless.
Shon moved with compassion took the man home with him, fed him and gave him a nice, comfortable bed for the night. Shon also shared the gospel with this man, as Shon does with many people. Shon then took the man to church with him, and introduced him to a local businessman who hired the man on the spot. The last I heard, the man had put his faith in Christ and asked to be baptized.
Now how many people do you think drove by that man as he walked along the road that day? Understand that this is not a teaching on how we’re all supposed to pick up hitch-hikers; Shon Bruellman is a big, strong man who can handle himself. But it is to say that Shon simply exhibited the love of Jesus, went to where the man was, shared the gospel and his life with this man, gave him food and rest, and took him to church. In sharing the gospel, and his life, Shon has won yet another person to Jesus. Shon is a “father” that is written about in 1 John 2:12-14:
“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” 1 John 2:12-14 (ESV)
Question 10. As you consider the teaching of this lesson, and the examples provided, where do you think you can begin to apply the truth? In what specific ways can you use the truth that you’ve learned today?