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The Good Samaritan

The Good Samaritan

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But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus: and who is my neighbor?— St. Luke x: 29.

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus: and who is my neighbor?— St. Luke x: 29.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 04, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE GOOD SAMARITAN BY PASTOR ELWOODBut he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus: and who is my neighbor?— St. Luke x: 29. IN answer to this question Jesus related the parable of the Good Samaritan. All great masters have their masterpieces. The works of even the greatest artists are not all equal. There are certain canvases of Raphael's, like the Sis-tine Madonna and the Transfiguration, so glorious as to obscure his other creations. They may not be better painted but they have a greater appeal and a more immediate meaning. So among the sayings of Jesus are two perfect parables which tower like twin pinnacles above his superb edifice. They are the parable of the Prodigal Son and the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Prodigal Son describes the breaking and the renewal of man's relation to God; the Good Samaritan, man's love to his brother. To-gether they contain the Christian religion. If the Good Samaritan were composed, as it would appear, on the spur of the moment in answer to an unexpected ques-
tion, it stuns us to think of the resources of the being that uttered it. 25 RELIGION AND LIFE A certain lawyer had come to Jesus with a great question, ability to answer which would forever de-termine the Lord's status as a spiritual teacher: "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus' treatment of this man is very interesting. He does not offer him some little ready-made scheme of salvation. He does not put off his question with a few phrases as to the beauty and power of religion. He causes the man to search his own conscience, and to answer, as far as he can, his own question. "What is written in the Law? How readest thou?" The lawyer's answer shows him to have been a great man. It is a better answer than Hillel made to the man who insisted that the teacher should explain the whole Law to him while he stood on one leg. Hillel said,
"What thou wouldest not that another should do to you, do not to him. That is the whole Law, the rest is only comment." When the same request was made to Shammai, Shammai beat the man who asked it with a stick. Hillel's answer omits all allusion to God and is purely negative, and the reply of our lawyer is vastly better: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself." His answer is so good that it is hard to see how it can be bettered, or why a man who held so noble and complete a view of religion should come to Jesus to inquire the way of salvation. But while Jesus gladly accepted the definition, he did not dismiss the lawyer 26 THE GOOD SAMARITAN as if he had nothing to bestow on him, for there was a

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