This parable is about a conversation between an expert in the law (LAWYER) and Jesus, the Christ. The scripture said, He came to test Jesus. The motive is to get Jesus into trouble. You know that Lawyers are very good at questioning people. When Jesus answered the first question, He went ahead to cross-examine the King of Kings. Jesus who knows all things again answered with a parable which is our concentration for today. The intent of the lawyer was to compel Jesus to say something contrary to the Mosaic laws understanding of eternal life. We shall consider the following in this passage;
Gift of discernment:
In verse 25a of the passage, we read “On one occasion, an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus”. On various occasions, Jesus has healed people on the Sabbath which was not accepted by the Jewish laws. From the passage, we can deduce that the Lawyer’s knowledge about receiving eternal life has to do with obedience to the Mosaic laws. He was, therefore, expecting Jesus to answer on the contrary so as to gather evidence for his arrest. However, Jesus who is God and all-knowing confirmed his answer to be right because He is aware of the intent of the question. For us to know the intent of people when they approach us, we need the gift of discernment. This gift refers to the ability given by the Holy Spirit to perceive whether something is from God or human intention. In other words, it is the revelation of something supernaturally that could not be known by natural means. In our various places of work, in our families, among friends, even in the church, there are people sent to test us to say things that can be used against us.
It is important that we pray for the gift of discernment so as to know how to answer such people otherwise, we shall be giving vital information to people who are planning for our downfall. Some of us are going through some difficulties due to the information we gave out to people who are agents of the enemy. I pray that God will grant us the gift of discernment so as to identify such people to answer them appropriately. May the Lord grant us this gift of discernment so as to know whom to share our issues with.
Identify what is important in this life:
Though the lawyer came to test Jesus, his question about what to do to gain eternal life implies that it is something of high value to him. He wanted to confirm that the way to eternal life was right. His answer points to the fact that eternal life is about your deeds as read from the Mosaic laws. The Jews believe that, obedience to these laws qualify one for eternal life. Even though our deeds are important, our confession of Jesus as our Lord and savior is the way that leads to eternal life as stated in Romans 10:9. It is this confession that places a demand on how one should live. Without this confession, your deeds cannot save you. What is important to you in this life? What is your zeal in chasing what is important to you?
I read a story of Alexander the Great who was a military man. He came home one of the days very sick. Noticing that he will die, he told his officers, “I will soon leave the world. I have three final wishes that you need to carry out when I passed away. The generals in tears attentively listened to him.
• My first wish is to have my physician bring my coffin alone home
• My second wish is that scatter the gold, silver and all my possessions from my treasure-house along the path to the cemetery
•After wrapping in a woolen blanket and resting for a while, he said, My final wish is to put my hands outside the coffin.
In explaining he said, to let my physician carry my coffin alone is to let people realize that a physician cannot really cure peoples illness especially when they face death. My second issue is to tell people not to pursue wealth like mine. I spent my whole life pursuing wealth but I was wasting my time. Rather, seek for the most important thing. My 3rd wish is to let people know that I came to this world empty-handed and I will leave this world empty-handed and he died afterwards. I don’t know what you are wasting your time in searching after but I came to announce to you that time is fast spent and the only thing for us believers is to seek eternal life and all other things shall be added as stated in Mathew 6:33.” But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.
Living according to God’s standards
• Love God: The Lawyer’s answer point to the fact that the first priority of the believer is to love God. Your love for the Lord will cause you to live to please the Lord. Your love for the Lord will cause you to be different and be unique. Your love for God will cause you to be a transformed person totally. Look at the way you live whether it reflects your love for the Lord? In Mathew 14:13, we read ‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”. Do you really love God?
• Love your neighbour: The lawyer further cross-examines Jesus to explain to Him who a neighbour is. The parable in the passage is about love for our neighbours. I must say that our love for God will automatically cause us to love our neighbours through the following;
Perceive the needs of others
Be compassionate to help those in need
Be willing to invest your time
Be willing to invest your resources in support of people who are in need.
We have discussed the parable of the Good Samaritan in three ways;
•The need for the gift of discernment
• Identification of the most important thing in Life
• Living according to God’s Standards
May the Lord grant us the grace to act according to what we have heard.