The story of the Good Samaritan is one of my favorite parables in the Bible–you’ve probably heard it 100+ times. If not, I would encourage you to read Luke 10:25-37. This is perhaps one of the most well known of Jesus’ parables in all of the Bible. Also, several truths can be pulled from the text, but we are going to focus on one aspect: Biblical love on display. This parable has enormous implications for the believer concerning ‘Biblical love on display’ or ‘Loving like Jesus.’
As we read this parable, let us think: What is Jesus trying to communicate? What is He saying to believers about who and how we should love? Is there a cost associated with this type of love, with Biblical Love?
We are going to take a quick look at four ways Biblical love cost the Good Samaritan. We will also briefly examine how Jesus demonstrated this love in His own life.
1. Biblical Love Will Cost Our Resources
Note first in verses 34 and 35, how the Samaritan was willing to give the wounded Jewish man the things needed in order to help him. The Samaritan used his own material resources (cloth, oil, wine, and transportation) care for the Jewish man. Although we cannot know how far the inn was from the scene of the crime, but we do know that the Samaritan walked and let the wounded man ride his own animal.
Then, we see that the Samaritan financed the recovery of the Jewish man. The Samaritan payed the inn keeper two denarii (the equivalent of two days wages for the average laborer) and promised to pay any other expenses the inn keeper would incur as he took care of the wounded man. What have you given up in order to love someone? How has love cost you as you live it out daily? Does it?
2. Biblical Love Will Cost Our Time
We do not know exactly where the Samaritan was headed. He may have been traveling home. He may have been on a business trip. There are a number of possibilities. What we do know is that the Samaritan was willing to put his life on hold in order to help someone who needed it. He took the time to bandage the man up, put him on his own animal, walk the animal to an inn and spend the remainder of the day taking care of him. The next day he set out with the promise to return. Taking care of this wounded man cost the Samaritan a considerable amount of time.
Ask yourself: How has Biblical love taken time out of your day? How has it pulled you away from something you were doing or wanted to do?
3. Biblical Love Will Cost Our Reputation
Keep in mind as we discuss this Biblical display of love by the Samaritan, that the man he was caring for was supposed to be his enemy. The Samaritans and Jews had a deep seated hatred for one another that went back hundreds of years. Jews claimed that the Samaritans had a mixed (tainted) bloodline and were not pure Jews…half-breeds, in effect.
The Samaritan, however, was more concerned with helping this wounded Jewish man than he was with what others might say or think. One of the main ideas in this parable is that the true follower of Jesus will love anyone, regardless of race, socio-economic status, political stance, sexual preference, religious stance (or lack of) and reputation.
I once heard it put this way, “If we love Jesus, we will love what Jesus loves. Jesus loves people.” Have you ever shown love to someone at the risk of your reputation? Have you ever not shown love because of the risk of your own reputation? How does Biblical love apply to those who are our enemies? Are you willing to show love to someone when others think you should not?
4. Biblical Love Will Cost Our Comfort
Perhaps this “cost of comfort” is a combination of the previous three. Due to the cost of the material and financial resources that went in to caring for the wounded man, it can be assumed that this was likely not a comfortable endeavor. It would have been much easier for the Samaritan to simply move to the other side of the road (like the priest and Levite — who were Jewish, by the way) and continue on his journey. He had some pressing matter to attend to and, after all, this man was Jewish.
But the easy thing, the comfortable thing, in this case was not the right thing. Biblical love will cause us to be uncomfortable because it takes work, commitment, sacrifice, time and because it is often costly. Are you willing to give up your own comfort for the sake of someone else today?
“But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Love cost Jesus His resources. Philippians 2:5-8 tells us that Jesus, for a time, surrendered and set aside His divine glory and took the form of a bond servant. He emptied Himself, humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death on a cross.
Love cost Jesus His time. John 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:15-17 are two passages among many that point to Jesus as Creator. He created ALL things, seen and unseen. Jesus is creator of time and space, which means He is outside of time and space. Yet for a time, He subjected Himself to the laws and confines of time to walk among us.
Love cost Jesus His reputation. Isaiah 53:3 says of Jesus, ” He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Luke 7:34 says that Jesus was a friend of tax-collectors and sinners. In Luke 15: 2 the religious leaders grumbled and complained saying, “this man receives sinners and eats with them.” Perhaps the greatest display could be found in 2 Corinthians 5:21, which says, “For our sake He made Him to be sin, Who know no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus forsook His reputation for our benefit.
Love cost Jesus His comfort. Jesus was hated by the very ones He came to save (John 15:18), yet that did not stop Him from loving them (Romans 5:8). A quick reading of Isaiah 53 shows us that Jesus gave up comfort for the sake of love. He was filled with sorrow and acquainted with grief, He was hated, smitten by God, He was pierced, crushed, and punished for our sin and lawlessness, He was oppressed and afflicted to the point of death.
Jesus was willing to pay the high price of Love for two reasons… 1) Because it was the will of the Father (John 14:31, Hebrews 10:7), and 2) To provide salvation for mankind (Acts 4:11-12), God’s most valued creation (Genesis 1:27-28).
Our motivation ought to be the same… 1) Because it is the will of the Father (Matthew 22:36-40), and 2) To point ALL people to salvation that is only found in Jesus (Acts 4:11-12).
Are you displaying Biblical Love today for the sake of the Father? What are some other, practical ways that we can put Biblical Love on display?
Biblical Love, many times, seems impossible, but keep this in mind…the One Who has done it for us, is the One Who will do it through us!