StoneBridge Community Church
Who is my Neighbor?
Senior Pastor Jon Saur
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:00 PM, Saturday 6:00 PM

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We understand that people may be traveling and that families may be squeezing in one last getaway before school starts. Summer Light is a 5 week, message series that will carry the StoneBridge community through the dog days of summer. The series is not consecutive, allowing for you to attend when you can and not feel like you've missed out!

Text in Context

“In the story of the Good Samaritan, it is the scholars— the 'wise and intelligent'— who are exposed for what they are (or are not). It will become clear that 'these things' — the gospel, the truths of the kingdom of God— are hidden from them. The Samaritan is no scholar at all, but he is the hero of our text. What is the difference between ‘Samaritans' and ‘scholars', in our text, so that the Good Samaritan is really ‘good', while the religious scholars of our Lord’s day are not?"
Sermon Outline

To help you follow along, here is a loose outline of this week's sermon.

I. Biblical Law
A. Biblical law is viewed as negative or boring
B. In Jesus' day, Biblical law was incredibly important and interesting.
C. The law reflected God's will for human life.
D. Jesus presents himself as a teacher of the law.
E. As such, Jesus' teaching is effectively law for his followers.

II. The Good Samaritan
A. Jesus' teaching carries the weight of God's law.
B. The Priest and the Levite represent people who should know God's law, but don't.
C. The Samaritan was an enemy who shouldn't know God's law, but does.
D. Jesus' teaching about who one's neighbor is would be shocking in his day.

III. Today
A. The definition of who our "neighbor" is doesn't depend on the categories we think are important.
B. It depends on mercy and who shows mercy.
C. The Samaritan becomes the man's neighbor because he shows mercy.
D. Who are people we consider "enemies" or "opponents" who are supposed to be our neighbors?
E. How can we love them?

IV. Love
A. Love is not just a fuzzy feeling.
B. Love is concrete action, like the samaritan shows us.

V. Life
A. If this teaching makes us uncomfortable, it should.
B. It is a challenge.
C. But in God's law is where life is found, because it is where God's will for our lives is found.
D. May we find life by loving our neighbors, according to Jesus' interpretation.

John Calvin on the Law

Not all protestants viewed God's law as negative! John Calvin actually had a high esteem of Biblical Law. Here is an article that summarizes Calvin's view of the Law.

Podcast on the Samaritans

Back in the Spring, Pastor Jon did a podcast on who the Samaritans are. If you want to go deeper into the identity of the Samaritans, feel free to give a listen!

1. How have you viewed Biblical law in the past?

2. Does it change anything for you to think of the Good Samaritan parable not as just a story, but as Jesus' interpretation of God's law?

3. How would you translate Jesus' definition of "neighbor" to today's world?

4. Which "neighbors," according to Jesus' definition, is God calling you to love now?

1. Reflect on Jesus' definition of "neighbor."

2. Make a list of people who are your "neighbors" according to Jesus' definition.

3. Reach out to those people to see how you can love them.

A few weeks ago we launched a special 5-week podcast series called StoneBridge Essentials. This past week, Pastor Jon talked about the Nicene Creed and how it gives us language to talk about the witness of God. This coming Tuesday will be our final episode where Pastor Jon wraps it all up with a discussion on two models of the Trinity. Episodes are available within the StoneBridge podcast.

Starting the first weekend in September, StoneBridge will be launching a new, fall series – called The Moses Legacy. The Moses Legacy will insightfully journey through the essential parts of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. Whether in-person or by Zoom, plan on joining a growth group to deepen your community experience and participation in this message series. Sign-up below.

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