February 7, 2016 – February 13, 2016
“And who is my neighbour?” Luke 10:29.
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 497–505.
“He [Christ] showed that our neighbor does not mean merely one of the church or faith to which we belong. It has no reference to race, color, or class distinction. Our neighbor is every person who needs our help.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 376.
1 AN ACTUAL OCCURRENCE
- What happened to a man as he was passing through a place infested with robbers? Luke 10:30.
Note: “In journeying from Jerusalem to Jericho, the traveler had to pass through a portion of the wilderness of Judea. The road led down a wild, rocky ravine, which was infested by robbers, and was often the scene of violence.” The Desire of Ages, 499.
- What did the priest do as he came that way? Luke 10:31.
- What did the Levite do? Luke 10:32.
Note: “Both these men [the priest and the Levite] were in sacred office, and professed to expound the Scriptures. They were of the class specially chosen to be representatives of God to the people. They were to ‘have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way’ (Hebrews 5:2), that they might lead men to understand God’s great love toward humanity.” The Desire of Ages, 499, 500.
2 THE RIGHT PRINCIPLE EXEMPLIFIED
- When the Samaritan saw the sufferer, what did he do? Luke 10:33, 34.
Note: “A certain Samaritan, in his journey, came where the sufferer was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. He did not question whether the stranger was a Jew or a Gentile. If a Jew, the Samaritan well knew that, were their condition reversed, the man would spit in his face, and pass him by with contempt. But he did not hesitate on account of this. He did not consider that he himself might be in danger of violence by tarrying in the place. It was enough that there was before him a human being in need and suffering. He took off his own garment with which to cover him. The oil and wine provided for his own journey he used to heal and refresh the wounded man. He lifted him on his own beast, and moved slowly along with even pace, so that the stranger might not be jarred, and made to suffer increased pain.” The Desire of Ages, 503.
- What else did the Samaritan do? Luke 10:34, second part, 35.
Note: “He [the Samaritan] brought him [the wounded traveler] to an inn, and cared for him through the night, watching him tenderly. In the morning, as the sick man had improved, the Samaritan ventured to go on his way. But before doing this, he placed him in the care of the innkeeper, paid the charges, and left a deposit for his benefit; and not satisfied even with this, he made provision for any further need.” The Desire of Ages, 503.
- Finally, what question did Jesus put to the lawyer? And how was the lawyer led to answer his own question? Luke 10:36, 37.
Note: “The Samaritan had fulfilled the command, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,’ (Matthew 19:19), thus showing that he was more righteous than those by whom he was denounced. … This Samaritan represents Christ. … When we were bruised and dying, He had pity upon us. He did not pass us by on the other side, and leave us, helpless and hopeless, to perish. … He beheld our sore need, He undertook our case, and identified His interests with those of humanity. He died to save His enemies. He prayed for His murderers.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 381, 382.
3 IDENTIFYING OUR NEIGHBOR
- What command has become a basic principle of Christianity? Luke 10:37, second part.
Note: “Divine truth exerts little influence upon the world, when it should exert much influence through our practice. The mere profession of religion abounds, but it has little weight. We may claim to be followers of Christ, we may claim to believe every truth in the word of God; but this will do our neighbor no good unless our belief is carried into our daily life. Our profession may be as high as heaven, but it will save neither ourselves nor our fellow men unless we are Christians. A right example will do more to benefit the world than all our profession.
“By no selfish practices can the cause of Christ be served. His cause is the cause of the oppressed and the poor. In the hearts of His professed followers there is need of the tender sympathy of Christ—a deeper love for those whom He has so valued as to give His own life for their salvation. These souls are precious, infinitely more precious than any other offering we can bring to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 383, 384.
- What reconciliation among races, nationalities, and social classes has been achieved by the cross of Christ? Ephesians 2:13–16.
Note: “It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We cannot come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with humanity; for in Him Who sits upon the throne of the universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. …
“No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God. He is the Maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition. …
“Whatever the difference in religious belief, a call from suffering humanity must be heard and answered. Where bitterness of feeling exists because of difference in religion, much good may be done by personal service. Loving ministry will break down prejudice, and win souls to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 384–386.
4 “FREELY YE HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE”
- In the work of Christ, how do we find reasons for rejoicing and reasons for weeping? Romans 12:15.
Note: “We should anticipate the sorrows, the difficulties, the troubles of others. We should enter into the joys and cares of both high and low, rich and poor. ‘Freely ye have received,’ Christ says, ‘freely give’ (Matthew 10:8). All around us are poor, tried souls that need sympathizing words and helpful deeds. There are widows who need sympathy and assistance. There are orphans whom Christ has bidden His followers receive as a trust from God. Too often these are passed by with neglect. They may be ragged, uncouth, and seemingly in every way unattractive; yet they are God’s property. They have been bought with a price, and they are as precious in His sight as we are. They are members of God’s great household, and Christians as His stewards are responsible for them. ‘Their souls,’ He says, ‘will I require at thine hand.’ ” Christ’s Object Lessons, 386, 387.
- When words are not enough, how can we reach many people? James 2:15, 16.
Note: “Sin is the greatest of all evils, and it is ours to pity and help the sinner. … There are many who hide their soul hunger. These would be greatly helped by a tender word or a kind remembrance. … Multitudes are so sunken in sin that they have lost the sense of eternal realities, lost the similitude of God, and they hardly know whether they have souls to be saved or not. They have neither faith in God nor confidence in man. Many of these can be reached only through acts of disinterested kindness. … As they see the evidence of your unselfish love, it will be easier for them to believe in the love of Christ.
“There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They look upon their mistakes and errors until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. When one has to swim against the stream, there is all the force of the current driving him back. Let a helping hand then be held out to him as was the Elder Brother’s hand to the sinking Peter. Speak to him hopeful words, words that will establish confidence and awaken love.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 387.
5 ACHIEVING POSITIVE RESULTS
- How can we help sin-sick people to make peace with God? Isaiah 27:5.
Note: “Thy brother, sick in spirit, needs thee, as thou thyself hast needed a brother’s love. He needs the experience of one who has been as weak as he, one who can sympathize with him and help him. The knowledge of our own weakness should help us to help another in his bitter need. …
“It is fellowship with Christ, personal contact with a living Saviour, that enables the mind and heart and soul to triumph over the lower nature. Tell the wanderer of an almighty Hand that will hold him up, of an infinite humanity in Christ that pities him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 387, 388.
- How much does our personal service in behalf of human sufferers affect our preparation for the kingdom of God? Daniel 12:3; Zechariah 3:7.
Note: “Upon your faithfulness in this work not only the well-being of others but your own eternal destiny depends. Christ is seeking to uplift all who will be lifted to companionship with Himself, that we may be one with Him as He is one with the Father. … He seeks to develop in us the attributes of His character—compassion, tenderness, and love. By accepting this work of ministry we place ourselves in His school, to be fitted for the courts of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 388, 389.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What actions of the Samaritan demonstrated a Christian spirit?
2 What did the lawyer who came to Christ finally realize?
3 How is Christianity unique among religions in this world?
4 Describe the most powerful sermon that can be preached to unbelievers.
5 Name the key elements that draw people to Christ.
Copyright © 2014 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.