Well did you enjoy that bible parable? So does anybody know what the meaning is of a parable? It is a little story that Jesus used to teach with.
What is Jesus trying to teach us with todays parable? Does anybody know?
Jesus is teaching us about love. Who here finds it easy to love? Who doesn’t love a big hug from their Mum or Dad?
How do you feel when you love someone? You might say my heart is full of love or even your heart missed a beat!
But what does this parable really say?
It says we need to love our neighbour as ourselves! Who is our neighbour? In this parable the neighbour is the Good Samaritan who crosses our path of the badly beaten man – you can say our neighbour is anyone who crosses our path – whether we know them or not. We need to love everyone that we meet even if they might be smelly, dirty, battered or bruised. How do you feel about that? Would we be running to hug them?
History informs us that it is actually really hard for us to love our neighbour and we often fail at it. Look at church history and you will see many times when people have not shown love to each other and in fact even tried to hurt each other.
Why is it so difficult? We sometimes have a hardened heart. We place a wall around our hearts to protect ourselves for a whole host of reasons. This parcel of mine might help us understand. The first layer of my parcel is fear. Fear makes us frightened and that can stop us loving. The second one is pain or hurt – when somebody hurts us that can really impact our lives. Grief is another one – we can become completely absorbed in our grief that there is no more space for love. If we leave these things there they can in fact make us really angry and so our heart that was once full on love becomes full of anger and hate.
How can Jesus help our hardened hearts?
We often say in church “Come close to God and …….. he will come close to you.”
We simply need to ask God to come into your heart and he can take all the hurt, pain, grief, hate and anger and fill our hearts full of love. All we have to do is ask him to do this.
When our hearts our full of love then it is so easy to love our neighbour as we have plenty of love to give. And when we take the step to love our neighbours then they can love us too.
So can I finish with one last story about my neighbour Frank?
Frank lives at the bottom of our road and when George was a baby I would take him for a walk in his pram every Saturday. I would walk passed Franks house and admire Franks lovely old car but I was never brave enough to go and say hello. We would walk past a wave but never stop – you could say I crossed the road. You see I am actually quite an introvert – I find it really hard to say hello to people I don’t know.
So fast forward three years of british reserve and waved hellos and one day when George was much older Frank was cleaning his car and I was feeling brave, so stopped and said hello. Frank asked if I had lived in our house for a long time and I said about 10 years but that I had grown up in Devon but my Grandfather had farmed in Michledever during the war. Frank stop dead in his tracks and he said ‘your grandfather is not George Willcocks?’ And I said yes in fact my George was named after him. ‘I have been looking for your Grandad for over 20 years’, said Frank who suddenly looked quite shocked. Frank had been his friend when they were younger, but they had lost contact. It is such a lovely story and always makes me smile when we see him.
So the moral of this parable is that Jesus wants us to love everyone we meet, and not just our friends as everyone is his creation. He knows it can be really difficult for some of us but we can ask him to come into our hearts and help us and we can do that by starting right today.
Luke 10:25-37 NIVT (New Itchen Valley Translation)!
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion a very crafty, try to catch you out type of lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But that wasn’t enough for this crafty lawyer and he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was walking along the twisty and windy road from Jerusalem to Jericho. It was rocky and full of nooks and crannies where a band of the most dastardly robbers could hide. As he walked past their hiding place they attacked him, and knocked him to the ground – bish, bash, bosh. When he fell to the ground they wished and bashed him some more, stripped him of his clothes, went away, leaving him bleeding and half dead.
Now there was a priest who happened to be walking the same road. A pillar of society, highly respected and someone everybody looked up to but when he saw the man, he didn’t like the look of him and became worried that the robbers might be about to pounce on him so he quickly crossed by on the other side of the road and went on his way. 32 So too, a Levite, a very holy man who everybody thought could do no wrong came to the place and saw him, and ran away on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, an outsider not from these parts that nobody really liked, traveled along the, and came to where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two days wages[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The tricky lawyer replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”