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The verse explains on what one must do to inherit everlasting life. Eternal life can only be achieved through obeying God’s law which is summarized into two: loving God and the neighbor. The emphasis is on doing not just knowing which has been repeated thrice: verse 25, 28, and 37.
The parable given from verse 30 to 35 emphasis on the act of doing in the definition of a neighbor just the way the Good Samaritan helped a man who had been robbed and bitten then left to death, an act that the Priest and the Levite didn’t yet they knew and taught about God’s law on love (Alexander & Patricia, 1999).
The conversation was between Jesus Christ and a lawyer. The lawyer knew the Jewish custom as he was a professional in their law which is both written and verbal.
The lawyer was testing Jesus on the law where he even calls Him “Teacher.” Jesus having perceived his intention He then answers him with a question concerning what the law says. In the lawyer’s attempt of justifying himself, he therefore wants Jesus to verify who the neighbor is where He answers by giving a parable. There was nothing Christ gave against the law (Yancey & Quinn, 2001).
Jesus was in Jerusalem when He was being tested by the lawyer. He gave a parable of man who was travelling from Jerusalem on his way to Jericho. Jerusalem is about 17 miles far from Jericho. Many people passed through the route but it wasn’t a safe route; there were robbers who attacked people. The victim was then left just by roadside where everybody could see him on his way; three categories of people saw him: the Priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan (Alexander & Patricia, 1999).
The conversation took place when Jesus had already predicted His death. By this time the Jews had sought to kill Him by the argument that He made Himself God when He said that He’s from God who is His father. They were accusing Him of blasphemy in forging of sins.
The Pharisees, the Jews and the lawyers didn’t believe in Him. Actually at this particular time the lawyer wanted to get something that he can accuse Him for. He’s a “Teacher” yet He teaches against their law but he didn’t manage to trap Him. His time to be put to death had not yet come (Yancey & Quinn, 2001).
The conversation took place immediately after the return of the seventy who had been sent out to preach. They had returned with joy because of the great things that had happened but Christ challenged them to be joyous in that their names are known in heaven.
He then rejoices in spirit where He tells His disciples that they are blessed to have experienced the great things of the Lord. He thereafter went with His disciples into one village in Jerusalem called Bethany where Martha and Mary lived: the sisters to Lazarus His friend (Alexander & Patricia, 1999).
The scripture is all about things that one has to do to attain everlasting life which is achieved through loving God and man. It can then be compared with the scripture in Leviticus 18:5 which emphasis on keeping the God’s law by practicing it, just as Luke 10:28, 37, Leviticus 19:18 also emphasis on loving of ones neighbor.
Deuteronomy 6:5 Moses gives the Israelites the Ten Commandments which Christ divided them in to two in Mark12:29-31 loving God with whole self and ones neighbor. Christ refers to this law when He asked in Luke 10:26 “what is written in the law” (Yancey & Quinn, 2001).
The lawyer was in his assignment to test Jesus. He was a specialist in Jewish law which directed on what one had to do, but still he couldn’t be helped by that. The theoretical knowledge couldn’t at all help him in attaining eternal life. He wanted to know the faithfulness of Christ concerning the law where He gives him a parable in His response.
The parable is itself a contradiction “Good Samaritan.” Samaritans were hated by the Jews and not referred as their neighbors but yet he showed mercy to the victim what the Levite and the Priest didn’t do (Alexander & Patricia, 1999).
Christ is the overall Teacher. Even though the lawyer didn’t mean exactly what he said by calling Him “Teacher” by the fact that he was testing Him, at the end of the conversation He proves to be. He didn’t come to break the law which God had given to Israel though Moses but He came to fulfill the same law. Christ could not fall in the trap of the lawyer, having power to perceive his motives He answers the lawyer in the rabbinical set-up by asking him a question (Yancey & Quinn, 2001).
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In the day to day life this scripture defines a neighbor as someone who is in need. Showing help without considerations of gender, ethnicity, race or whichever status. The willingness to cross all these barriers is therefore important.
Also ones needs to take risk in that the Samaritan didn’t rely care whether the robbers could have hidden themselves and they could attack him also as he helped the victim. There is need to sacrifice just as the Samaritan paid the cost of treatment and even offered to pay more which would occur. This will help me to improve in my acts in showing compassion to others as a Christian (Alexander & Patricia, 1999).
Alexander, D., & Patricia, A. (Eds.). (1999). Zondervan Handbook ti the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House.
Yancey, P., & Quinn, B . (2001). Meet the Bible. New York: Zondervan.