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Jesus & Justice | The Parable of the Innkeeper
February 20, 2022
25And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27And he answered, “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.” 28And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
29But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
As Jesus tells this Jewish lawyer about the parable of the Good Samaritan, he is intending to expand our understanding of our neighbor while at the same time calling us to expansive holistic care for our neighbors. Jesus’ final instruction to “Go, and do likewise,” is a call for us to love our neighbor as the Samaritan loved the man left for dead. This passage definitely offers us a template for how to love our neighbor, but Jesus also offers us hope that even as we undertake this call with the seemingly infinite need in our city and world and our finite resources, he is with us as the Good Samaritan.
To discover and experience Jesus Christ in our midst
To cultivate mutually encouraging relationships
To participate in God’s mission to the world
God of steadfast love and faithfulness, you have exalted your name and your word above everything. By the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to hear your word with understanding, that in our speech and actions, we may exalt your name above all things; in Jesus’ name we ask it. Amen.
Responsive Prayer—Psalm 71:1-6
1In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!
3Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
4Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
5For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
1. The Parable of the Good Samaritan:
- How does Jesus expand the lawyer's understanding of neighbor? How should this expand our understanding of who our neighbor is?
- Even though the Levite and the priest ‘see’ the man, only the Samaritan ‘sees’ with eyes of compassion. What are some of the differences between ‘seeing’ and ‘seeing with eyes of compassion’?
- What are the boundaries the Samaritan is willing to cross in order to care for this man?
- Do you have a good example of a time you crossed some of those boundaries in order to love your neighbor??
- How does the Samaritan expand the help for this man? How is this a good model for us to follow?
2. The Parable of the Half Dead Man
- How would the detail Jesus gives about the road being between Jerusalem and Jericho have helped the lawyer understand himself as the man left for dead?
- If Jesus is the Good Samaritan who rescues us (and he is!!!) how does this free us from the guilt we often feel about the ways we fall short in loving our neighbor?
- How does Jesus as the Good Samaritan motivate us to take up the call to “Go and do likewise?”
3. The Parable of the Innkeeper
- In this parable how did the innkeeper and the Samaritan partner in their care for the man?
- What were some of the ways the innkeeper would have had to trust the Samaritan as he was left to care for the man?
- If the church is the innkeeper (and we are!!) and Jesus is the Good Samaritan (and he is!!) how does this keep us from being overwhelmed by the infinite need and our finite resources?
May the love of God help you to bear all things. May the love of Christ enable you to believe all things. May the love of the Holy Spirit inspire you to hope all things, so that you abide in faith, hope, and love this day and forever.
View Study Guide Notes
Background: My suggestion for studying this passage is to look at this parable through three lenses. The first is the one you might be most familiar with—the call for us to be the Good Samaritan. This offers a template for how we love our neighbors. The second way to look at this passage is as the parable of the Half Dead Man. Jesus wants the lawyer—and us—to see ourselves not only as the Good Samaritan but also as the one left for dead who needs to be rescued. This puts Jesus as the Good Samaritan, the one who sees, crosses over and extends us mercy. Finally, look at this passage through the innkeeper. The one who partners with the Good Samaritan to care for the man left for dead. This means we need not feel overwhelmed by the call to “Go, and do likewise,” because Jesus is with us calling, healing, and providing as we move out to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Question 1: N/A
Question 2: There are many details in this parable that on the surface might seem unimportant to this story but actually give more depth to the meaning and application. One of those details is the fact that Jesus tells us the man was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. It tells us likely this man was Jewish, but also Jesus wanted the lawyer to see himself as the man left for dead. This helps us see Jesus as the rescuer—as the Good Samaritan
Question 3: N/A