On The Road Bible Study – Week 4
The Journey of Discipleship
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Some Questions and Reflections:
Jesus responds to the question posed by the teacher of the law regarding eternal life in a rather peculiar way. Though the teacher of the law knew the correct answer, in wishing to justify who his neighbour was, Jesus tells this story which exposes him to the heart of the law.
It seems as though there is no ‘getting away with the easier choice’ with Jesus. Let us begin by reiterating the lesson Jesus teaches in the passage, then expand on why this message about ‘who is my neighbour?’ is so important for us to put into practice?
(Answer: One of the things Jesus appears to be pointing out in the parable, is that his love does not discriminate, and neither should ours. The Samaritan, who was known as a common enemy of the Jewish people, shows great care for this man, and he goes over and above in his generosity.)
The message of the Kingdom of God is within this passage. It is the same message that the disciples are called to go and teach throughout the world, as well as to exemplify through their actions.
What do you think Jesus was teaching us as his disciples about the Kingdom of God and discipleship in this parable?
(Answer: The message of the Kingdom of God is a universal principle of loving and caring for our neighbours. If everyone were to live according to this principle, everyone one on earth would benefit. We are then called to teach others this way of living.)
What are some of the ways in which we could be loving and serving our neighbours, both locally and around the globe, in this time?
(Answer options: What is clear from scripture, and this was clear from Jesus’ ministry is that he calls us to seek justice as disciples, not just mercy – to seek SHALOM (peace) and RESTORATION as our expression of love to God and to others.)
Shalom means ‘complete reconciliation, a state of the fullest flourishing in every dimension – physical, emotional, social, and spiritual – when all relationships are right, perfect, and filled with joy.’ (Timothy Keller – generous justice) This is a picture of what the Kingdom of God looks like. As followers of Jesus, it is our task to spread the good news of this message to all people, and to act upon it.
Micah 6:8 describes God’s desire for His people this way: ‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’
How can you take one step forward in acting out justice, mercy and humility in your own discipleship journey?
You can download the pdf of this study HERE.