Go and Do The Same


Luke 10:25-37
25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” 27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” 29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. 31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. 33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ 36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”


If you have children, like I do, you can probably relate to having a conversation like this: how many bites do I have to take to get dessert? How many things do I have to pick up off the floor in my room to get to watch TV? We want to know just how much we have to do to achieve the desired result. Our passage today begins with a very similar conversation between an expert in religious law and Jesus, where Jesus challenges him, and us, to ask an entirely different question.

Verse 25 tells us that the motives of this religious expert are suspect from the start; he doesn’t truly desire to be taught by Jesus, but to trap him, to catch him doing or saying something wrong. Ever the teacher, Jesus responds to the question with a question, one that almost seems a bit sarcastic: “you’re the expert in the Old Testament law, you tell us what it says!” Jesus knew this man would have knowledge of the law, and we see that he answers with what Scripture says about loving God and loving others: ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself (v.27)’”Jesus responds with affirmation that his knowledge is correct, but is insufficient without resulting in congruent action. He says, “Do this and you will live!”

Jesus charges the man to go beyond knowledge to obedience; a life surrendered to Jesus is marked by obedience.
Then we see the Jewish expert in the law ask another question, meant to justify his actions (v. 29): “who is my neighbor?” This man is asking the wrong question, seemingly trying to exclude others from being his responsibility, by making people around him “non-neighbors.” Essentially, he is asking “who do I really have to love?” Don’t we often find ourselves asking this same question? Instead of asking who we are required to love, the better question is to ask how can I be a good neighbor? How can I love and serve people well? Jesus addresses his response to this man in a parable in verses 30-37.

This parable is a short story with a huge point. There is a man who is overtaken, beaten and left for dead along the road, and three different people walk by with the opportunity to be his neighbor.  The priest and Levite were both religious leaders of the day (who would have know the Old Testament law, just like the expert listening to the story); they would have been two people in that culture that a Jewish person would have  expected to render aid and bring hope in their need. However, they saw their Jewish brother suffering and crossed the street to pass by him without acting to meet his need. Perhaps loads of excuses passed through their minds as they dipped their heads and pretended not to see him: “He might be a decoy for an ambush,” “I’ve got to hurry to the temple to serve the Lord,” “I need to get home to my family,” “If I get my clothes bloody, I’ll be unclean and can’t perform my duty in the temple,” “the job is too big,” “if he really needed help, he’d ask!” So often, we know what Scripture says, and what the Lord is asking us to do, but we excuse our way out of obedience!
 The third person, a Samaritan, showed compassion, going above and beyond to love the injured man sacrificially, even spending the equivalent of 2 days’ salary to cover the cost of his care. This would have been unthinkable to Jesus’ Jewish audience, who would have despised Samaritans, both racially and religiously. But, Jesus is making an important point here: to love one’s neighbor often involves showing love and compassion to those with whom we might not otherwise have any relationship or many things in common. Jesus is challenging us to love and serve all people, not just other believers or those with whom we agree.

“Passing by on the other side” is the norm in the world today, especially when we encounter our enemy suffering; showing compassion and love is radical. If we are to represent Jesus in a lost and broken world, we just love and serve others as Jesus would, without boundaries, and even when it is incredibly costly to us.  Our time, money, reputation, preferences/opinions are all worth being laid down when able to have the opportunity to represent Jesus by loving others well. The knowledge of what Jesus would have us to do is worthless if it is not followed by sacrificial obedience! “Go and do the same.”

Action Step

“I am to love my neighbor, and my neighbor is the one who others might consider my enemy. My neighbor is the one with a need right in front of me.”  (David Guzik)

Look for people with needs right in front of you today. Ask the Lord, “Who are the neighbors you are calling me to love?” How can you step out of your comfort zone to extend compassion and practical help to those in need, no matter how you differ from them? As you go throughout your day today, ask the Lord to show you how you can sacrifice time, money, and resources to love and serve others; whatever the cost, it is so worth it to point people to Jesus!


“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:3-8)

Jesus, thank you for leaving the glory of heaven to become a servant for us, loving and serving us with the ultimate sacrifice of yourself on the cross in our place.  Give us your eyes to look for the people around us in need and to sacrificially love and serve them as you would. Help us to humble ourselves to become servants that point others to your great love for us. Help us to live with open hands, holding nothing back from you or from those you call us to love and serve, even when it is costly. Thank you for giving everything for us. We love you. Amen.
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