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Bible Studies For Life

Intentional Love                       Unit 1 SESSION 4                 23 SEP 18

LUKE 10:25 Near the end of his Galilean ministry Jesus sent the 12 Apostles out by themselves on a preaching mission, INCLUDING JUDAS! This is a major proof that Judas was a saved man at this time, just as the rest of the Apostles were saved. Jesus would not send a lost person to preach the Gospel! Therefore, Judas was a saved person!

Later He also sent 70 disciples on a similar mission. This shows there is no “clergy-elite” in Christ’s Church. All have the same mission to “make disciples” (Matt 28:19).

A Jewish lawyer of the day (scribe) was one who studied and knew the Law of Moses and all the add-on laws the Jews had added over time. Scribes, who belonged mainly to the party of the Pharisees, functioned as members of a highly honored profession. They were professional students and defenders of the law (scriptural and traditional), gathering around them pupils who they instructed in the law. They were also referred to as lawyers because they were entrusted with the administration of the law as judges in the Sanhedrin (cf. Matt 22:35).

Here a certain lawyer stood up to “tempt” Jesus. The Greek for “tempt” means to test thoroughly:--tempt. Test is a better translation here. He wanted to test the knowledge and orthodoxy of Jesus. “Stood up” shows he wanted the undivided attention of Jesus. “Master” translates Greek for teacher. It is the same word as in Luke 7:40.

True to his training, he thought of the minimum legal requirements. On the surface the question sounds fine. Once again the English translation fails us. In Dr. Herschel H. Hobbs in his book an exposition of the gospel of Luke, Baker Book House, 1966, stressed that what he really asked is “What single thing shall I do to inherit age-abiding life?” The test was to see if Jesus would find a single requirement into which to condense all of the Law. Even with verse 29, the test does not automatically mean the lawyer was out to get Jesus. He may have been seeking to get Jesus to publicly agree with a position on the subject he was already teaching himself. This is not a unique thing to do.

LUKE 10:26-28 Knowing the thrust of the question, Jesus asked for his opinion first. What was his answer to his own question? His answer is a classic. (1) Love God with one’s totality and (2) love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus immediately commended him on giving such a fine and correct answer. The lawyer had given Deut 6:3, 10:10-12 and Lev 19:18. So why would the lawyer become defensive and ask verse 29 if he had answered correctly and his answer was what he wanted Jesus to give to his test? Jesus said “do this and you shall live.” The English fails again. The Greek reads “keep on doing this forever” with the implication that he was not once to not do this. This is the issue. Jesus called for a life-long action. The lawyers looked for a one-time accomplishment.

            Jesus did agree because Jesus and the 12 and the 70 and all Jews were still under the Law of Moses. But after the Ascension, the Law of Moses was abolished so the Law of Christ could and would replace it.

LUKE 10:29 “But he, desiring to justify himself” The Greek for justify means to show or regard as just or innocent:-- be righteous. The problem is the lawyer had not always loved all neighbors. He probably felt he was already loving God properly and continuously. So the lawyer was being honest enough to admit, all be it discreetly, that he did not love all his neighbors. The way out was in the defining “neighbor.” Various cultures have different definitions. Usually neighbors are those who live around you in your neighborhood. He heard in Jesus’ voice something to this effect. But to the Jews of Jesus’ day a neighbor could only be a Jew. Certainly a neighbor was not a Gentile. To strict Jews, it would be only fellow-Jews of like faith and order. [Sounds like some Baptists.] Surely Jesus could not be saying that Gentiles were neighbors or even “sinner Jews."

LUKE 10:30 So Jesus answered with a parable. “A certain man” would be a Jew since Jesus did not say otherwise. A parable has one central idea and the fine points are not to be pressed for in-depth meanings. The Jerusalem to Jericho road was known in that day as “the red and bloody way.” Hill robbers often hit travelers. For a person to travel alone was to invite disaster. But Jesus just used alone to get to the person being hurt. The robber took all he had, what he wore and beat him nearly to death, probably thinking he would die and not identify him. Rome would go after robbers if they got too active.

LUKE 10:31-32 Jesus has His other travelers walking alone as well simply to make the point. The first was one of the 20,000 priests of the Jewish priestly system. They served at the three great Feasts and for one week twice a year.  So he was going home after he had finished his week. When he saw the beaten man he walked on the other side. Why? The man looked dead from a distance. The Law stated if a person touched a dead body he would become ceremonially unclean. He could not serve or worship until he did the cleansing ritual. Lev 21:10-12  ""The priest who is chief among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose, nor rend his clothes; he shall not go in to any dead body, nor defile himself, even for his father or for his mother; neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD." So to avoid becoming unclean and thus require a trip back to Jerusalem, he chose not to check to see if the man was really dead. The Levite served in the temple doing the more menial tasks. He too decided to be safe than sorry. The point is they did not do the intent but the letter of the law. Jesus spoke of this aspect in the Law in (Mat 12:10-12 RSV) "And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath?" (So that they might accuse him.) He said to them, "What man of you, if he has one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath."" Jesus said then that even the lawyers in that day agreed that life emergencies took priority. So Jesus was stressing how legalistic a person can get and forget the purpose of the law. Note (James 4:17 RSV) "Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."

LUKE 10:33-35 A Samaritan was a mixture of Gentile and Jewish bloodlines of those Jews left behind by the captivity. Eventually bad blood arose between the returning Jews and those mix-blood Jews so that each developed as a separate race, nation and religion. Both claimed to be God’s people. So Jesus picked the most unlikely person to be the hero of his story. In his day the Jews hated Samaritans even more than Gentiles. The Samaritan took the time to see if any life remained. When he did check the man,  he personally took him to where he could provide care. He delivered personal health care for the critical night and when the man started to recuperate, he paid for his bill and said if more was required he would may it later. In all of this he asked nothing in return!

LUKE 10:36-37 So again it was an obvious question the lawyer could not get around. The Samaritan was the one who acted as a loving neighbor. Again the Greek is critical. Jesus said “You yourself keep on doing likewise.” Thus a neighbor is one who helps needy neighbors as the need arises. But we cannot press this beyond the parable.

            See (Luke 6:27 RSV) ""But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,"

And ( Gal 6:10 RSV) "So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." And (1 Th 5:15 RSV) "See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all." And (1 Tim 6:18 RSV) "They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous,"

Jesus is not saying being neighborly only to those who need something from you. We have to be in the world and thus we are to be the salt that people want to be around. (Mat 5:16 RSV) "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

Jesus spoke to the lawyer as a man under the Law of Moses. However, Jesus spoke also to Christians today as people under the Law of Christ when He commanded (John 13:34-5 RSV) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.""

It is this Jesus-like Light we are to shine into the darkness of the evil world! We show John 3:16 is true to the world! (John 3:16 RSV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

We are to show the SAME Intentional Love as Jesus showed and preached.

Marvin Ganote, Hobbs Study Class, Adult Teacher. ganotemd@gmail.com Home Page: http://dma1.org/~ganotemd/lesson.htm