The second commandment in this passage is simply love your neighbor as yourself. It necessarily follows the first commandment to love God, which is the foundation for being able to consistently love people. Without a commitment to love God first and foremost, it becomes too easy to neglect loving people in practical and meaningful ways.
The story of the Good Samaritan was told by Jesus in answer to the question, Who is my neighbor? The answer that Jesus reveals to that question was shocking to His original audience and it remains one of the more difficult truths of the story for believers to practice.
This brief story has become one of the best known Bible stories in the Western world. The term Good Samaritan is so widely used that many people outside the church dont realize it originates in this amazing story. However, when a Bible story becomes too familiar, we can often overlook the significance of its simple message. The heart of the message Jesus is teaching is that love for people is expressed in the most practical ways, even toward those who are the hardest for us to love.
1. The Command: Love your neighbor as yourself
a. A quote from Leviticus 19:18
b. Sounds like a simple command
c. The human dilemma
2. Who is my neighbor?
a. The lawyer wanted to justify himself (vs 29)
b. It was a debatable question
c. The priest and the Levite represented the religious leadership
d. Introducing the Samaritan as the good guy was shocking
3. Who was the neighbor to the one who was robbed?
a. Not the religious guys: They had good reasons for not helping:
1. He looked dead
2. The same robbers may still be around
3. They had an important appointment
4. He shouldnt have been traveling alone
b. The Samaritan: The one who showed mercy
1. He overcame his own prejudice
2. He took all the same risks
3. He interrupted his schedule
4. He went the extra mile
4. Go and do the same
a. Loving people regardless who they are
b. Allowing compassion to stir us to action
c. Short circuit habits for compassion:
1. We feel compassion for someone, but are overwhelmed
2. We feel compassion for someone, but blame them
3. We feel compassion for someone and help them, but with conditions
4. Solution: Establish compassion boundaries
a. Remember the first commandment: Loving God is prerequisite to getting everything else right.
b. Whenever you interact with others ask how would I like to be treated if I were them?