Pentecost 8
July 29, 2001
Luke 10:29-37
"The Three C's from the Good Samaritan"


INTRODUCTION:  One commentator of our parable of the Good Samaritan tells us that the parable needs to be updated for this modern world! Say what?  He goes on to explain that in these modern times things have become worse!  Then the victim was left half-dead; now he is usually left totally dead! 

One of the frightening things of our time is the prevalence of violence. We find it everywhere. We see it on television, in movies, and in the newspapers; murders, rap, torture, hijackings with hostages, battered wives, bruised children, vandalism and shootings in schools, fighting among athletes.  The list goes on and on.

What is frustrating to some is the seeming indifference to the situation by so many in the public these days. So many seem to be indifferent to the situation, many good people simply do nothing!  The crying need is for people with tender hearts of compassion to be pressed into practical service. What is needed today more then ever before are tender hearts for a tough and hostile world.  This morning lets consider the three "c's which come from the parable of the Good Samaritan.

1.   CONDITION“Jesus replied and said, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead.” v. 30

Today's victims of crime and violence are paraded before us on a contiguous basis. We see them on television, we read their accounts in the newspaper, we hear their stories on the radio.

It is a tough world that shows no mercy to innocent people. Jesus reminds us “the poor you will always have with you”.  Likewise, the incidents of crime and punishment, of one man taking advantage of another will continue to haunt us; for we live in a fallen world. Where sin reigns there will be such examples of crimes committed against another.  

2.   CAREFREE      "And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. -vv., 31,32

The tragedy then, as it is now is that people are carefree from any sense of responsibility to go to the rescue, to help the afflicted due to apathy and indifference. This includes religious people whom you expect to help people in need.

Notice that it is a priest and a Levite who pass by on the other side. There is a reason for their failure to help.  The Law strictly tells us that if one were to come into contact with a corpse immediately that person would become ceremonially “unclean” There was a service to attend to. The man was left “half dead”. Why stop to gawk and stair! Why stop and help a man whom could not be helped anyway? In the name of “purity”; in the name of “orthodoxy”; in the name of “correct practice”; these two clerics passed up the opportunity to help.  Yes, correct practice and pure doctrine are important very important. Yet our practice must meet people where they are and where they live.

This leads to the question: who is my neighbor? Is my neighbor the starving child in a far off land or is it someone in my own neighborhood, my own family, in my own circle of friends? Let us remember the challenge which is given to us by the apostle Paul when he said: “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. “{Galatians 6:10}

3.   COMPASSION "But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on {them;} and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.'-vv. 33-35

The source of help is compassion, but whence comes compassion? Its source is obedience to God's laws to love. Love of God leads to love of neighbor. The Savior Jesus Christ who has become for us the Good Samaritan demonstrated that Love to us.  When we were beaten and battered and left for dead by the horrible forces of sin, the world, our flesh and yes, of Satan himself the Savior reached out to us in His mercy and grace. He could have walked by the other side. He could have forgotten us. He could have abandoned us.

Instead He reached out to us and saved us. He suffered on the bloody cross and took our sins to Himself. As He has had compassion on us. How much more ought we to be compassionate to others?

Conclusion:  These three “C’s” all find their focal point in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus finishes this parable with a question and a directive. That’s where the sermon really begins, in our own life and living.  Jesus said:  "Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' {hands?} And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same." {Luke 10:36-37}  Amen.

+ Soli Deo Gloria +