1. CONDITIONS TO RECEIVING ETERNAL LIFE
a. How did Jesus answer the lawyer’s question regarding how to inherit eternal life? Luke 10:25, 26.
“The conditions of salvation are ever the same. Life, eternal life, is for all who will obey God’s law. Perfect obedience, revealed in thought, word, and deed, is as essential now as when the lawyer asked Christ, ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’”—That I May Know Him, p. 299.
b. Which law did the lawyer mention, and how did Jesus reply? Luke 10:27, 28.
“The lawyer was not satisfied with the position and works of the Pharisees. He had been studying the scriptures with a desire to learn their real meaning. He had a vital interest in the matter, and he asked in sincerity, ‘What shall I do?’ (Luke 10:25). In his answer as to the requirements of the law, he passed by all the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic precepts. For these he claimed no value, but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 377.
2. NEGLECTING OUR NEIGHBOR
a. What question was later asked by the lawyer, which prompted Jesus to tell a parable? Luke 10:29. Who is our neighbor today?
“Our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Our neighbor is every soul who is wounded and bruised by the adversary. Our neighbor is everyone who is the property of God. . . .
“Our neighbors are not merely our associates and special friends; they are not simply those who belong to our church, or who think as we do. Our neighbors are the whole human family. We are to do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. We are to give to the world an exhibition of what it means to carry out the law of God. We are to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.”—My Life Today, p. 232.
b. What attitude do many have today, which shows that they do not love their neighbors? Who are they copying? Genesis 4:9.
“There has been too much of a spirit to ask, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Said the angel: ‘Yea, thou art thy brother’s keeper. Thou shouldest have a watchful care for thy brother, be interested for his welfare, and cherish a kind, loving spirit toward him. Press together, press together.’ God designed that man should be openhearted and honest, without affectation, meek, humble, with simplicity. This is the principle of heaven; God ordered it so. But poor, frail man has sought out something different—to follow his own way, and carefully attend to his own self-interest.”—Testimonies, vol. 1, pp. 113, 114.
c. How do we know that this is not a godly attitude? Romans 14:7.
“Every act of our lives affects others for good or evil. Our influence is tending upward or downward; it is felt, acted upon, and to a greater or less degree reproduced by others.”—Ibid., vol. 2, p. 133.
“By our unconscious influence others may be encouraged and strengthened, or they may be discouraged and repelled from Christ and the truth.”—Steps to Christ, p. 120.
3. THE TRUE NEIGHBOR REVEALED
a. Where did the man in the parable fall among thieves? Who passed by on the side of the road and left him half dead? Luke 10:30–32.
“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 with robbers, and was often the scene of violence. It was here that the traveler was attacked, stripped of all that was valuable, and left half dead by the wayside. As he lay thus, a priest came that way; he saw the man lying wounded and bruised, weltering in his own blood; but he left him without rendering any assistance. He ‘passed by on the other side.’ Then a Levite appeared. Curious to know what had happened, he stopped and looked at the sufferer. He was convicted of what he ought to do, but it was not an agreeable duty. He wished that he had not come that way so that he would not have seen the wounded man. He persuaded himself that the case was no concern of his, and he too ‘passed by on the other side.’”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 379.
b. Who had mercy on the wounded man, and what did he do for him? Luke 10:33–35.
“The priest and the Levite both professed piety, but the Samaritan showed that he was truly converted. It was no more agreeable for him to do the work than for the priest and the Levite, but in spirit and works he proved himself to be in harmony with God. . . .
“The priest and Levite neglected the very work the Lord had enjoined on them, leaving a hated and despised Samaritan to minister to one of their own countrymen.”—Ibid., pp. 380, 381.
c. Who did the lawyer acknowledge to be the true neighbor? How did he answer? Luke 10:36, 37.
“The lawyer found in the lesson nothing that he could criticize. His prejudice in regard to Christ was removed. But he had not overcome his national dislike sufficiently to give credit to the Samaritan by name.”—Ibid., p. 380.
4. OVERCOMING PREJUDICE
a. Why did the lawyer answer the way he did? What attitude did the Jews have toward the Samaritans? John 4:9; 8:48, 49.
“The great difference between the Jews and the Samaritans was a difference in religious belief, a question as to what constitutes true worship. The Pharisees would say nothing good of the Samaritans, but poured their bitterest curses upon them. So strong was the antipathy between the Jews and the Samaritans that to the Samaritan woman it seemed a strange thing for Christ to ask her for a drink.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 380, 381.
b. What was Jesus’ example in ministering to those who were from different nationalities? Acts 10:38. What can we learn from this teaching? Matthew 23:8 (last part).
“During His earthly ministry Christ began to break down the partition wall between Jew and Gentile, and to preach salvation to all mankind. Though He was a Jew, He mingled freely with the Samaritans, setting at nought the Pharisaic customs of the Jews with regard to this despised people. He slept under their roofs, ate at their tables, and taught in their streets.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 19.
“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’s Object Lessons, p. 386.
c. How did the disciples later show that they had overcome their prejudice against other nations? Acts 8:25; 17:24–27.
“Christ sought to teach the disciples the truth that in God’s kingdom there are no territorial lines, no caste, no aristocracy; that they must go to all nations, bearing to them the message of a Saviour’s love. But not until later did they realize in all its fullness that God ‘hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us’ (Acts 17:26, 27).”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 20.
5. REACHING OUT TO THOSE IN NEED
a. What does Jesus want us to learn from the parable of the good Samaritan? Luke 10:36, 37; Romans 12:20, 21.
“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.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 383.
b. How does He want us to help those around us? Matthew 7:12; 10:8.
“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.”—Ibid., p. 386.
“Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God. . . .
“Upon your faithfulness in this work not only the well-being of others but your own eternal destiny depends.”—Ibid., p. 388.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How far-reaching should our obedience to God’s law be?
2. Who is our neighbor? What is our obligation to him or her?
3. The priest and the Levite made a high profession of their faith. What did the Samaritan have which the priest and the Levite failed to have?
4. How did Jesus begin to break down the walls of prejudice in His day?
5. If we are true Christians, how will we seek to help our fellowmen?