Luke 10:25-37

Christian
Love has no limits. In this lesson, I want you to ask yourself as the lawyer
was challenged to ask himself. Do you limit who you love? Or do you limit how
much you love some people. Jesus is saying, “Don’t you dare limit your
love for others because I never limited my love for you.”

The
Set Up

A
lawyer stood up to test Jesus by asking, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit
eternal life?” Jesus had him answer his own question by having him quote
the law (v. 27). The problem wasn’t in what he said; the problem was in the
way he said it. Jesus was correct. If you love God with all your heart, soul,
mind, and strength, you won’t be relying on yourself, but on God for eternal
life. The problem is that for this lawyer they were just words on a page, a
prerecorded response to an anticipated question. And that is all his religion
was to him. Just words. He had a religion of words. He worshiped in an empty
temple of syllables.

I’ve
noticed something about people whose relationship is reduced to just words.
They try to get away with as much as possible. Remember when you were a teenager
and your negotiated to get the latest curfew possible. You wanted to know what
the latest as you could stay out was and still not get in trouble. I know people
that relate to God like that. They want to set up limits to loving God. That
is what this lawyer did. He was really asking, “What is the most I can
get away with and still obtain eternal life.” Jesus’ answer was that there
are no limits to how much we should love God or our neighbor. The lawyer was
still looking for love limits in asking, “Who is my neighbor.”

The
Story

Jesus
answered him with story. A man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when
bandits appeared and took him for all he was worth. They stripped him of all
his clothes, beat him bloody, and threw him over in the ditch leaving him half
dead. “Half dead” is a good way to describe coming to the end of your
rope. That breaking point where you need something good to go your way. “Half
dead” is the place where if someone doesn’t lend you helping hand something
else is going to come along and finish you off. The trials of life have a way
of catching us by surprise and leaving us half dead.

A
priest and a Levite passed by on the other side. Why? These guys were not willing
to love outside the lines of what was comfortable and convenient for them at
the time. The third man that came down this road was a Samaritan. He was the
last person the lawyer thought would have stopped to help this man. They differed
in race and religion, Jews and Samaritans hated each other. Jesus said, “he
took pity on him.” That’s the difference between people who love outside
the lines and those who don’t. Those who do are willing to get their hands dirty
for the sake of people.

The
Summons

Jesus
finishes the story by asking the lawyer a question, “Now you tell me, Mr.
Expert, Which of these three was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands
of robbers?” The lawyer hated the man so much that he couldn’t even say
his name.” So he replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Love
that makes a difference always loves outside the lines of comfort and convenience.
So, Jesus told the man,”Go and do likewise.”

Aren’t
you glad Jesus didn’t limit his love to what was comfortable and convenient.
I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable or convenient for Jesus to leave heaven and come
to earth as God in the flesh to have to face all of the trials, heartaches,
and temptations that we face. I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable or convenient for
him to take 12 guys and train them to be disciples only to be betrayed when
he needed them the most. I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable or convenient for Jesus
carry that wooden cross up the hill called Golgotha to be sacrificed for the
sins of you and me. I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable or convenient for Jesus,
who had been in perfect harmony with the Father for all eternity, to be separated
from his sight and deserted on a cross for the sins of the world. But Jesus
loved outside the lines of what was comfortable and convenient. Rom. 5:8 says,
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this, while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.” A God kind of love, loves outside the lines.
Therefore, “Go and do likewise.”

_______________________

Sermon
brief provided by: Bradley Rushing, Senior Pastor, First Baptist
Church, Amite, LA

Share This On: