In tonight’s passage we will see how Jesus encountered a religious man. A religious man in that day would have represented someone who was in expert in the law, knew every answer to all the questions in church, and grew up in Sunday school.
Warm-Up: What was your upbringing like…Did you grow up in the church? Go to a Christian school? If not, what was your idea of people who did?
Read Luke 10: 25-29
Before we start answering specific questions, what stood out to you most in those first few verses?
In verse 29, the religious man asks Jesus a follow up question, “…who is my neighbor?” What do you think the man is really trying to get at by asking Jesus this?
Have there been times in your own life where you asked God: Where is the line, boundary, or limit? When is enough, “enough?” How much do I have to continue loving, forgiving, pursuing? Please share…
Read Luke 10:30-35
Upon seeing the Jewish man lying there, the priest immediately went to the other side of the road. The temple assistant went over and looked, but then he too went to the other side of the road. But when the Samaritan saw the man, it says he was filled with compassion. The Samaritan’s love actually led him to do something about it. He saw the need, felt the need, and met the need.
If you’re completely honest, which character do you identify with most…the priest, the temple assistant, or the despised Samaritan? Why?
What excuses do you think the priest and temple assistant used to justify their lack of care and compassion? Are any of these excuses similar to our excuses today?
What excuses could the Samaritan have offered as justifiable reasons why he should not help the Jewish man?
It’s important to note that the Samaritan was helping and caring for a man who would have likely made fun of him, marginalized him, not done business with him, and frankly, hated him. That takes “loving your neighbor” to a whole new level.
Before reading this passage what was your definition of being a good neighbor? Has your understanding been challenged after reading this story? How so?
To whom specifically do you think Jesus is asking you to be a neighbor? Maybe it’s a person or people group totally different than you. Maybe it’s people you see daily but don’t pay any attention to. Or, maybe it’s even someone very close to you that you lack patience and/or compassion toward. Spend a few minutes thinking, and then share.
Read Luke 10:36-37
It’s important to note that in the beginning, the religious man asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” But, in verse 36, Jesus flips the question and asks him, “Who was a neighbor to the man?”
It’s not about defining who our neighbor is or isn’t; It’s about being a loving neighbor.
On Sunday we learned 2 things that will dramatically change the way we encounter people. We must realize that:
1. People are more important than our plans.
2. People are more important than our pride.
Which of these two resonated with you most?
Living it out:
Invite God to interrupt your week with people that need to encounter Jesus. It might feel scary or overwhelming, but remember, God has given you his Holy Spirit to give you everything you need in any situation you face. God just might be showing you that he has chosen you to be the Good Samaritan for that person this week. See the need. Feel the need. Meet the need. And look out for the increasing and expanding love you will start experiencing this week!
Break up in groups 3-5. Guys with guys and girls with girls. Spend some time praying with one another. As you pray, ask God, “Who would you have interrupt me this week? And, show me how I can love them more.”