A Neighbor’s Love / Luke 10:25-38 NIV
In Luke’s gospel, an attorney asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. Rather than answering the question himself, Jesus asks the attorney what is written in the law. He asks, “How do you READ it.” (Very important legal language as we’ll see.) The expert attorney’s answer…
How do we inherit eternal life?
Love _________ and love ___________.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself.” “You have answered correctly, “ Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” v.27-28
What is our answer? Give your life to Jesus. Ask forgiveness of your sins. Repent and turn from evil to good. Serve Jesus. Make Him the Master of your life. Do what He says. Follow His commands. Right? Isn’t that what we say? So why is Jesus’ answer not the same as our answer? Do we have the wrong answer?
A. Why the answer is different now. The question was given at a different time and place. Before the crucifixion. This is what the Old Testament teaches. This is what we’re supposed to do. But we fail miserably at it. No one can do it!
“The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.“ Romans 8:3 NLT
B. Why the answer is the same now. We now have the ability to do what the Old Testament teaches! Because of Jesus. We have the power to love God and to love people! In fact, that is the very mission of Church Requel!
- When it comes to loving God, there are no ____________ .
Not just about 4 different parts of us - heart, soul, strength and mind. The key word is none of those. The key word is repeated 4 times. Did you miss it? “ALL.”
ὅλος (holos) -
I love God with all of me.
- When it comes to loving people, there are no _____________ .
“But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” v.29
That sounds like a lawyer type of question, doesn’t it? What are the exceptions? Who IS my neighbor? Who can I NOT love?
When Jesus used the Samaritan as the example, that word alone spoke volumes to the faithful Hebrews in Jerusalem and surrounding country. They and the Samaritans hated each other.
Ultimately Jesus is telling us that when we love the way God intends, that His idea of love IS radical itself. That God’s radical love through us TRUMPS every other political, national, racial, religious division of how we see other people!
How do we love other people the way God intends?
#1. Real love begins with _________ turns into _________.
“A Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.” v.33
Despite their differences, the good Samaritan took pity on the injured man. He went beyond feeling sorry for him (like we hope the priest and Levite did) and considered how he would feel if he were in the same spot. That’s what we mean by sympathy turning to empathy. It’s one thing to feel sorry for someone else. It’s another level of love to say, “What if that were me? What would I want done for me?”
"Do for others what you want them to do for you: this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and of the teachings of the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 GNT
Do for others… with no loopholes! This love is bigger than your love. Your love and my love is not big enough to love this way. That’s why we can only fulfill this with God’s Holy Spirit inside us, which only happens when we give our lives to Christ.
#2. Real love continues when I ____________ .
“He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper.” v.34-35a
In our culture we think of love as a feeling. If we think of love only in this way, it will cripple our ability to love in the radical way Jesus is talking about here. Because love the way God intends it to be for us is MUCH more than a feeling. Love is an action.
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:18 NLT
There is love that talks and then there is love that walks. Radical love for others does more than talk a good game. It demonstrates itself by the actions taken. The Samaritan bandaged up the man. Put him on his donkey. Took him to a hospitalized Holiday Inn and prepaid the man’s medical expenses.
That should do it, right? What more could radical love expect of us?
#3. Real love flourishes when I ____________ .
“‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’”v.35b
The key words here are “when I return.” Real radical love invades our schedules and our busyness. We think of the Good Samaritan as doing “a good deed.” We say that we did our Good Samaritan act today. The truth is that this kind of godly, radical, real love never stops. It sees problems through to the end. It plans on stopping back. Checking in. It plans on paying “extra expenses.”
“Love keeps going to the end. Love never fails.” 1 Cor. 13:7b - 8a MSG/NIV
Is this the kind of love you want to show to other people? The kind of love that never ends. Are you so overwhelmed with God’s love in your life for you, that you want to take His love and pour it out to other people. Love that empathizes. Love that takes action. Love that follows up.