Luke 10:25-37, ‘25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 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 he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”’
A rewritten narrative...
There are some cultures in America, (and we find this particularly with Christians in the west as well), where Luke 10:25-37 is not lived out as God intended. There is a pervasive attitude that says, “No. I’ve got it. I don’t need help.”. If this current attitude were to be written into the Luke 10:25-37 narrative, the story starting in vs 34 would go something like this, ‘The Samaritan meaning to help the man by tending to his wounds, giving him a ride, giving him a place to stay to rest & recover from the traumatic experience, and then pay for everything it would take for the hurt man to recover, WAS TOLD “NO.” BY THE HURT MAN. The Samaritan was not able to be a blessing to the hurt man and went on his way. But God knew the Samaritan’s heart and would bless him for his intention.’. The end. Sounds sad doesn’t it? In the story, we want to see someone get the help they need. In reality shows we see people who are in dire straits who need new clothes or repaired homes. And these folks are given exactly what they need; and we love those shows! Why? Because we know it’s right to help and to be helped. And, we love to help and get the help we need. But, when it comes down to where we live, when it’s just us, we state proudly, “I’ve got it under control”.
Pride, our downfall...
The Gospel is all about helping those, you and I, that are absolutely and unequivocally helpless to help themselves. Jesus died for the sins of the world (we could not), took the wrath of God on Himself for the punishment of the world’s sins (we could not), was buried for three days and rose from the grave (we could not), ascended to Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Heavenly Father interceding for His people (we could not). The Gospel says, “People could not, only Jesus could.”. And from there, the Gospel is lived out in the lives of those who belong to God by helping others as we can– to give the Gospel and to meet physical needs.
But what gets in the way of being helped? Pride. The Bible says in Proverbs 6:16-17, “16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes,…’. The Lord hates a proud look, which comes from pride. The Bible also communicates Proverbs 16:18, ‘Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.’. In fact, pride is the reason for people rejecting Jesus Christ, the reason for cults & false religions, and the reason for the downfall of satan. So, how does pride work out in our lives in the area of needing help?
When we need help and then reject help, we:
- deny and rob the other person, (or people), of their blessing to help.
- are telling God that we know better than Him.
- are denying God His desirous will to act through His people to help someone in their time of need.
- are telling God that we are totally self sufficient... when the Bible, however, rightly communicates (both spiritually & physically) that apart from Jesus Christ we can do nothing. We need God and His people.
- are telling God that our cultural traditions are more important than God’s holy Word. May I say it like this? It can be a form of idolatry… especially if our values are based on our cultural traditions rather than on God’s truth.
Pride will keep us from:
- people speaking truth and encouragement into our lives.
- knowing and growing in God (from rejecting the Gospel to refusing to read the Bible, pray, & worship consistently).
- opportunities and blessings that God has for you… and others.
- When we’re prideful we believe we’re in control. But what a prideful attitude really shows is that we’re out of fellowship God and are resisting the healthy way He desires for us.
But we think, “We don’t want to be a bother, it’s not that big of a deal, I’m ok.”. Truthfully, God desires to meet us no matter we’re at.
A cure for pride...
Heed the wisdom of Proverbs 16:19, ‘It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.’.
A lowly spirit:
- realizes that because of sin, he/she deserves nothing... so that when we get anything we are happy to receive it. The Gospel shows this principle clearly.
- is one who receives, but in turn not only gives but gives readily and lavishly.
- is gentle in their dealings.
- according to Luke 10:36, is a neighbor to others in the sight of God.
- according to Luke 10:37, is one who is merciful in the sight of God.
God can rewrite your narrative...
Today is a new day and the Bible proclaims that His mercies are new every morning! If you’re one who is in the lifestyle of not allowing help, here are a few points that can help.
repent. turn away from, “I’ve got it.” and turn to “There are sometimes I actually do need help.”.
look to the Bible. If nothing else the Bible is full of commands, narratives, and principles that scream, “We need Help!!!”.
put it into practice. When someone asks you, “Can I pray for you?”, you say, “Yes.”. When you are sick or in need, obey the Bible as it says in James 5:14, ‘Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.’. There are people that God will use in a powerful way to bless not only you, but them as well.
You are important to God and He is ever ready to help. Catch the next life preserver He throws to you, even if you don’t think you need it.
Christ’s Blessings to you,
Pastor Scott Welch