"Once More With Feeling"
1. I used to have a Hungarian born piano teacher in college that used to drive me up a wall. He was a stickler on technique, but I knew that I had done well when I reached the point when he would say "once more with feeling!" The idea was that you can add the emotional sense to a piece of music AFTER you get the notes right. Do we have the same standard when it comes to living? Get life right or make sure life is right before we add love?
2. Why is this so important? It was something that Jesus felt toward people (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 6:34; 8:2; Luke 7:13; 15:20) and was part of His life (James 5:11). It is based on the concept of mercy (Matthew 9:13; 12:7).
3. What will it do for us, why don't we demonstrate it more, and how will it help us to grow? The answer is found in Luke 10:25-37...
I. Background for the story - verses 25-29
A. The Lawyer's Test (see Matthew 22:34-40 and Mark 12:28-31 (possible parallel passage)): The lawyer could have been in group in Matthew 22 by his response. He wanted to see if he could put Jesus on the spot. The term here is used synonymously with the term scribe in other passages (see Mark 12). The scribes, because of their obsession with the study of the "traditions of the fathers", became occupied with the application the law, thus lawyers. They were not paid for this, but received great honor (an early Jewish quote refers to them above a man's father since one's father gave life, but the teacher gave wisdom...).
B. Jesus' Question: What is written? Paraphrased: "You should know, tell me. What does it say to you?" Jesus turned it around just like He did in John 4.
C. The Lawyer's Response: He could have been there to hear Jesus in Matthew 22 by his response. Why Deuteronomy 6:5? One verse after the most memorized verse in the Old Testament of His day. Anyone here know what John 3:17 says?!? He also added Leviticus 19:18!! Problem: justification. He went to his training, asking - "who is MY neighbor?"
II. The Example of the Samaritan - verses 30-35
A. The Setting: a half dead man.
B. The Priest and Levite: "religious men". Both were taking Leviticus 21:11 over Numbers 9:6-13. This is the same issue is raised by Jesus about the "higher" law in Mark 2:23-27.
C. The Compassionate Samaritan: Same as Jesus, saw, then felt compassion - a FEELING, sensitive to need. Feeling compassion leads to showing compassion. What motivated him? I talked to a couple a few years ago that made it a practice to always stop and help stranded motorists because they had been in the same predicament and no one came to their aid. They allowed the circumstances of life to make them sensitive to other's needs through their own needs. Two denarius was about two days wages.
III. The Application of Jesus - verses 36-37
A. A neighbor is someone on whom we can show mercy.
1. Look around you. Can you show mercy on everyone here. No! Why? Emotional involvement, squabbles, personality differences.
2. What does God want us to do? Think before you act! Compassion is something that you have to be before you can show it. This is why we are compelled to have the spirit of compassion (Philippians 2:1; Colossians 3:12). Note: the word for demonstration of compassion is not used here!
B. Go and do the same!