If this had been by a Jew or a Gentile, it would have been great kindness; but it was by a Samaritan; a man of a nation hated by the Jews, and therefore it shows what we are to do to friends and foes when they are in need.
Then notice in verse 37. “He that showed mercy… Go, and do thou likewise.”
Remember that Jesus is speaking to a lawyer and is saying, show the same kindness to all, to friend or foe, and then you will have evidence that you keep the law, and not till then. Here are some great lessons:
- The knowledge of the law is useful to teach us our own sinfulness and need of a Saviour.
- It is not the one who professes kindness that really loves most, but he who will deny himself in time of others need.
- Our faith requires us to do good to all men; however, God may send us someone with a special need.
- The real test is that we should do good to our enemies. Real love to them will lead us to deny ourselves, and to sacrifice our own welfare.
- He is really our neighbour who helps us in our time of need, especially when there has been hostility between us.
- True Christianity teaches us to regard every man as our neighbour; prompts us to do good to all, to forget all national or cultural distinctions, and to help all those who are in circumstances of poverty and want.
- The difference between the Jew and the Samaritan was a difference in practice; and not necessarily in doctrine or belief.
Wow, if we could learn to apply these basic principles in our Christian practice, what a difference that would make in our outreach.