Elwood First Church of the Nazarene
Sunday July 10th, 2022 Pastor Matt Mehlhoff
Sermon notes

“A New Perspective ”

Luke 10:25-37

Share of a time when your car broke down on the side of the road. Did you need help? Did anyone stop to ask?

Today, we will be looking at a passage of scripture that talks about helping people on the side of the road. You might know which one that is. But we will be looking at the new perspective the story gives.

We want to see today how Following Jesus is simple: Love Him and love others as yourself. And how Jesus gives a new perspective to His hearers and to us. Then we will discuss how we are to share love with everyone. 

Luke 10:25-37

Luke 10:25-37ESV

We are introduced to, as the ESV translations says, a lawyer. A better translation would be an expert in the law or a teacher of the law. This person knew the scriptures really well.

Jesus, as a good Rabbi, asked what is in the law and how do you interpret it?

The lawyer responds with “love God and people.” Jesus says, Yes! Do that.

But the Lawyer wants to know who he can exclude from loving. He wants to justify how he has loved people already.

Jesus says that a person was walking from Jerusalem to Jericho.

“The road from Jerusalem to Jericho (about eighteen miles from it) lay through desert and rocky places: so many robberies and murders were committed therein, that it was called the bloody way.” 

–John Wesley http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/john-wesleys-notes-on-the-bible/notes-on-the-gospel-according-to-st-luke/#Chapter+X

As a priest walked passed, he thought to himself that he was in a hurry and maybe the robbers were still nearby. He thanks God that it wasn’t him that was the one beat up on the side of the road. 

The Levite does the same.

Then Jesus doesn’t say the layperson. Or the person that believes as we do. Or a regular church attendee.

Instead, Jesus says, a Samaritan springs into action the moment he sees the man beat up and bloody on the side of the road. The Samaritan—the person that doesn’t go to church. The one you wouldn’t even think would stop.

“For a Jewish audience, there was an element of shock in the story. It depicts a reversal of values, a world in which a Samaritan is the hero. But it did much more than unsettle people’s values. It provided a positive ideal by which to live. It portrayed a vivid example of neighborly love. It demonstrated the meaning of love more vividly than any dictionary definition.” 

–Asbury Commentary https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/asbury-bible-commentary/d-the-commandments-of-love-and-the-parable-of-the-good-samaritan-10-25-37

This is where Jesus challenges the lawyer’s (and our) interpretation. Who is our neighbor? 

Through this story, Jesus is sharing the key to following Him and being a witness to His life, death, and resurrection: Love Him and others. 

What does Jesus want? Love our neighbors.

“Love of neighbor crosses the boundaries of nation, race, and social class. Anyone in need is our neighbor. By depicting the Samaritan as the example to be followed and the representatives of conventional religion as the examples to be avoided, the parable issues a challenge not only to Jews but to Christians as well.” 

–Asbury Commentary https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/asbury-bible-commentary/d-the-commandments-of-love-and-the-parable-of-the-good-samaritan-10-25-37

“Let us go and do likewise, regarding every man as our neighbor who needs our assistance. Let us renounce that bigotry and party zeal which would contract [or shrink] our hearts into an insensibility for all the human race, [except] but a small number whose sentiments and practices are so much our own, that our love to them is but self love reflected. With an honest openness of mind let us always remember that kindred between man and man, and cultivate that happy instinct whereby, in the original constitution of our nature, God has strongly bound us to each other.” 

–John Wesley http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/john-wesleys-notes-on-the-bible/notes-on-the-gospel-according-to-st-luke/#Chapter+X

That is Jesus’s challenge to us today see everyone as our neighbor to love and help. 

Why am I supposed to love my neighbors? We will live. We will have life to the full. 

How am I supposed to love my neighbors? Through showing compassion to people. 

Who needs you to be their neighbor? Where is Jesus asking you to change your perspective? How can we show Jesus’s love this week?

Today, we saw an expert in the law ask Jesus how to inherit eternal life. He indeed was to love God and to love his neighbor. However, Jesus had to change his perspective about who his neighbor was. Jesus included even “those” people as neighbors. 

We are to love our neighbors (aka everyone) as Jesus shared in this story. When we do, we will find life. Life now and life forever. Loving our neighbors means we show compassion. That can look different for each of us and in different situations. We are to show Jesus’s love. Who needs you to be their neighbor? Where is Jesus asking you to change your perspective? How can we show Jesus’s love this week? Let’s pray. 


1 Corinthians 15:58ESV

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