Introduction: Jesus famously taught in Luke 10:27 to love
your “neighbor as yourself.” This view, often referred to as
the “Golden Rule,” is shared by many religions. Following
this basic rule is not simple. It takes thought. Assume a
homeless person asks you for money. On a superficial level
you could decide that if your roles were reversed you would
want to receive money. If you look deeper, if you were
homeless because you were on drugs or were lazy, would you
want to stay in that situation? I would not. In that
situation withholding money and thereby helping to force a
change might be the best thing possible for that person –
which is what you would want for yourself. Let’s plunge into
our Bible to see what Jesus teaches us about the answer to
this question!

I. Testing Jesus

A. Read Luke 10:25. Does this lawyer really want to
know the answer to this question? (No. The lawyer
thought he already knew the answer to the question,
he wanted to see whether Jesus had the correct

B. Read Luke 10:26-28. Who ends up being tested? (The
lawyer! Jesus reverses the situation.)

1. Some of this seems wrong. The lawyer asks
“what shall I do” to be saved? Is this the
correct question only because Jesus has not
yet died on the cross?

2. Examine Jesus’ answer in verse 26 and tell me
whether Jesus is giving a canny answer? (Jesus
asks what the law says about eternal life. The
law is about works. Jesus is about grace.)

3. Note Luke 10:28. Although Jesus has shifted
the question, He tells the lawyer that if he
does something (love God and your neighbor)
“you will live.” How is this consistent with
Galatians 2:16 and relying on what God has
done for us instead of relying on our own
works for salvation?

C. Read Luke 10:29. Do you think this is still a test?
Or has Jesus drawn the lawyer into a serious
discussion about the lawyer’s eternal life? (I
think the lawyer is drawn into a consideration of
his own life.)

II. Testing the Lawyer

A. Read Luke 10:30-32. Did these two religious
officials see the wounded man? (Jesus makes the
point that they saw him and made a decision to move
away from him.)

1. What reason would they have for not helping?
(If they were heading to the temple in
Jerusalem they might have thought that
touching this man might make them unclean (see
generally Leviticus 15 regarding blood), and
that would create a problem for doing their
work for God.)

B. Read Deuteronomy 22:4. What did the law require of
these religious leaders? (If they were required to
help the valuable animal of a brother, surely they
were required to help their brother.)

C. Go back to Luke 10:30. What is the philosophy of
these robbers? (I am entitled to take what is

D. Read Luke 10:33-35. What do you think, would the
lawyer have done what the Samaritan did?

E. Read Psalms 139:21-22. The fellow who helped was a
Samaritan. If the injured fellow were a Samaritan,
would the lawyer have helped a Samaritan in this
situation? (The answer is, “obviously not,” because
Samaritans were the enemy.)

F. Read Luke 10:36-37. Given our discussion so far, do
you think the lawyer would in the future obey what
Jesus said?

1. In the introduction I suggested looking deeply
into the situation. This was a dangerous road.
Should the injured fellow be blamed for
traveling alone on it?

a. Would it teach him a valuable lesson if
you just left him there? (Whatever lessons
were to be learned about personal safety
would have already been made.)

III. Testing Us

A. At this point we need to discuss what Jesus is
teaching the lawyer and us.

1. Is he teaching that obedience to the law is
impossible for fallen humans, and therefore
the real answer to secure eternal life is to
rely on the works of Jesus instead of our own?

2. Or is Jesus teaching that we should help our
enemies and those who foolishly get in

3. Or is it something else? (I think Jesus is
teaching us the Christian philosophy of life
is to show love to others, even if they are
our enemies. (I don’t think He is teaching
compromise with evil.) At the same time,
because the lawyer would have found this
practically impossible, I think Jesus is
teaching grace.)

4. What is Jesus not teaching? What are the
rejected philosophies of life? (The robber
philosophy: If you have more than I have, I am
entitled to take your property. This is modern
socialism or communism. Jesus is also
rejecting the approach of the religious
leaders who want to keep what they own (time
and money). This is true even if they put a
religious spin on it. That is the view that
I made my money by my own effort and I will
not share it with others because they need to
be more like me.)

B. Look again at Luke 10:37. Do you think Jesus’
command to “go and do likewise” disappeared at the
cross? (Read Matthew 5:17. Jesus showed us mercy!
Jesus did not abolish the law, He did what we
cannot, which is to completely obey the law. That
does not eliminate our obligation to attempt to
keep the law. It does not eliminate our obligation
to bring glory to God by our works.
See Matthew 5:16.)

C. Read James 2:14-16. If you agree with what James
wrote, what if the person said instead, “I’ll pray
for you?” (Prayer is not, or should not be, an
empty statement. It is the most effective thing
that we can do. The question is whether God calls
on us to be His helper?)

D. Read James 2:17-18. This is one of the most well-
known texts in the Bible. What do you understand
James to mean by stating that he shows his faith by
his works?

E. Read Matthew 7:21. Do Jesus and James seem to be
saying the same thing?

F. Read Matthew 7:22-23. Now we have a problem, right?
James told us that he would show his faith by his
works and that is precisely the defense raised by
these lost individuals. Does this show that James
is wrong? That if he tells Jesus at the end what he
told us, his “proof” is inadequate?

1. Is there a way to reconcile what Jesus said in
Matthew 7:22-23 and what James said about
proving his faith by his works? (Yes. Works by
themself, do not prove faith. Romans 3:28.
However, a faith in God that reflects an
understanding of His love produces works. A
knowledge of Jesus changes your life.)

G. Let’s be practical. As you compare the people in
Luke 10:30 and Luke 10:34-35, have you satisfied
your obligation to help others by voting for
government officials who use tax money to support
the poor? (The Samaritan used his own money to help
the injured man. Those who force others to provide
support for those in need should read this story
closely. The reports are that those who are most
supportive of using the money of others, give the
least out of their own pocket to help the poor.)

H. Friend, will you take the story of the Good
Samaritan to heart? Will you ask the Holy Spirit,
right now, to guide you to help those who will be
benefitted by your help?

IV. Next week: Mission to the Needy.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.