The Character of Compassion 

Luke 10:25-37 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

25 And a [a]lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? [b]How does it read to you?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” 29

 But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and [c]beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,34 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. 35 On the next day he took out two [d]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.’ 36 Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” 37 And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do [e]the same.”

 

Current Political Climate: Israel was technically under Roman Rule. They had a culture of their own and were permitted to practice as long as they didn’t upset the status quo. You also have some geography going on here. The Jericho of New Testament times was about 18 miles away from Jerusalem, but the road to it dropped about 3300 feet. For comparison, that’s about 2/3 of the depth of the grand canyon. And along the route were caves, rocks – all sorts of places to hide. Looked a lot like the road to Jabba’s palace at the beginning of Return of the Jedi.

Why travel it at all? Priests and Levites had to go between cities for religious reasons – particularly duties at the temple.

The Character of the Priest

Religious duties – having to stay separate from culture. One area was not touching a dead body

Leviticus 2:1-2 ‘No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his people, except for his relatives who are nearest to him,

Represents all things organized – he’s neat, tidy, knows his expectations, but sometimes unexpected things come along.

Should have been the most qualified – rituals, life & death

 The Character of the Levite

So now the job of helping our wounded man falls to a Levite.

Still a Jewish person – particularly one who can trace his bloodline to the tribe of Levi from the original 12 tribes that comprised Israel. They still had roles in the temple – life and worship.

Perhaps the lay ministry within the church

The Character of the Samaritan

 

Not expected – long-standing animosity between them. 

So what does compassion look like?

It’s messy

It transcends status

Based on the needs of others

 Christ’s character – embodies all this

Mark 2

And it *[c]happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and [d]sinners [e]were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him.16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and [f]sinners?” 17 And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 Romans 2:

Therefore you have no excuse, [a]everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God [b]rightly falls upon those who practice such things.But do you suppose this, O man, [c]when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of Godc? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 

Also available in video format (coming soon)
Matthew E. Morgan, MA, LPCC

Matthew E. Morgan, MA, LPCC

Host

Today’s show is hosted by Matthew Morgan, a licensed professional clinical counselor in Ohio. Matthew’s favorite roles are as a husband and father. He also is known for loving his coffee. See more about Matthew here

Behind the Podcast Thoughts:

Hey, nothing broke this week!