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Fig Leaves and Other Christian Coverings (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 3 of 8
Now as we read the story here, you're going to see where Jesus is now illustrating, what He's talking about. Now of course when we read this parable of the Good Samaritan, you're going to put yourself somewhere in that story you know. Even as I read it out, you're going to mentally put yourself somewhere. Now maybe you're the guy on the road beaten up and dying; I'm bleeding to death, someone help me or even notice me. Maybe you're thinking: oh, I'm a bit like the Good Samaritan you know? Every now and then I help people out, you know? But almost no one will say that they're the priest, or the Pharisee, or the Levite. We don't want to be that, yet more often than not we are. That's why He told the story; it's to talk about what loving God passionately, and loving your neighbour as yourself really looks like, okay? It's more than just being in a service, and being excited on Sunday.

He said a certain man - Verse 30 - went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down the road, and when he saw him, well he passed by on the other side. He's got to get to a prayer meeting you know. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the same place, he came and he looked - so they both looked, they both saw him, you see. And he passed by on the other side. He crossed over the other road, so he wouldn't have to go there; listen, I'm busy mate, I've got a meeting, I've got a Bible study to do, I've got my home group to get to. You just don't understand how busy I am, I've got to get to things! I'm sorry, you know? But a certain Samaritan - now Jesus is using the Samaritan. It illustrates, of course, Him. Samaritans were despised. The priest and the Levite were spiritual people supposedly. And he went to him, and he bandaged his wounds, pouring on the oil and the wine; he set him on his own animal, took him to an inn and took care of him.

The next day, when he departed, he took out some money, gave it to the innkeeper, and said to him: take care of him; whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you. Who do you think was the neighbour, to the one who fell among thieves? And he said: the one who showed mercy; and Jesus said: well go and do likewise. Remember the original question is: well who's my neighbour? Jesus reverses it, and said: listen, that commandment's not about finding who's your neighbour. That commandment is about BECOMING a neighbour! Turn to someone and say: howdy neighbour! [Laughter] Okay, now you notice in the story here he talks about, he's trying to explain or bring a message out, to a certain kind of people. He's talking to church people here, not talking to the unsaved. He's talking to church people, about what true, mature spirituality looks like - and so there's a priest.

The priest was one who actually ministered in the presence of God; and you and I are all called to be priests to God. He was a Levite, a Levite served in the house of God; so a Levite was also a special person, set apart. You could say that the priest and the Levite could easily be us, because we're all called to be priests, and to minister to God, to worship Him, praise Him, be in His presence, experience Him, love Him. And the Levite, the Levite represents a person who was serving, or involved in serving. So no matter how spiritual you are, it fits almost everyone who is a believer here today; we're in the house of God, we're serving, we're worshipping, we're doing something today. Now it says there's certain things that they did. It says - you notice the things that they did. They looked, and they saw the guy, and they actually would not engage in helping him. This is the point Jesus is making.