How to Study the Bible

How to Study the Bible

Nicole Unice

Stories Jesus Told: The Neighbor (Luke 10:25-37)

April 25, 2022   ●   18 min

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Parable means “to throw alongside” – Jesus uses everyday stories to teach spiritual truths.

- 1. - What does it say:

This story is so familiar that even those outside of Christianity know and use the phrase “the good Samaritan.”

Who are the characters?

The lawyer – this was a religious leader whose job it was to interpret the Law for the people, to explain how to live righteously.

People groups called out – Jesus uses different people groups that would have a known context to his listeners and to provoke thought and engagement

- 2. - What’s the backstory:

Usually, the person in authority would ask the questions of the teacher, but immediately Jesus turns it on its head and asks the lawyer to answer the question.

To deal with anything “left half-dead” would make you unclean. The uncleanliness of helping a half-dead man would leave the religious leaders unable to perform their religious duties.

- 3. - What does it mean:

Both ‘neighbor’ and ‘love’ are redefined by Jesus in this parable. The expert correctly links the love of God and love of neighbor to each other, but Jesus redefines who was a neighbor, therefore expanding the love of God.

He is showing that religious duties are not as important as offering mercy to the people in your path.

- 4. - What does it mean for me?

The right question is not “who is my neighbor?” The right question is “who is being a good neighbor?” How can we “go and do likewise”?

Am I being a neighbor? Perhaps in big things, it would be easy, but what about in little things?

Neighbor is no longer defined by the other person, it’s defined by my action.

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