Today’s sermon comes from a series on the life of Jesus described in the gospel of Luke. The passage comes from the second half of chapter 10 which helps us answer the question, “What does it mean to be his disciple?”
The first part of chapter 10 says all disciples are given the gospel as a message which is to be communicated to everyone. In this last part of the chapter, we’re given the other side of being a disciple; instead of just being called messengers, we’re also called to be neighbors. We’re called to meet the needs of all the people around us, whether they believe the message or not. There are four things we learn: 1) it is required, 2) it has magnitude, 3) the motivation for doing it, and 4) how to do it.
In Luke’s gospel, Jesus talks with a law expert, highlighting the importance of love for God and others as the way to eternal life. Jesus shares the story of the Good Samaritan to show how vital it is to show kindness and help others, no matter what they believe. This story teaches us about being a follower of Jesus, and how to show love and kindness, which is a silent but powerful way of sharing Jesus’ teachings.
Jesus shows us that it’s not enough just to obey the rules to reach salvation. Instead, he wants us to love God and others. He highlights that we need to serve others in a full and selfless way, meeting their needs. He shows that true faith is shown through acts of love and care for those in need.
Jesus teaches us about the vast reach of his love, pushing us to help others without setting boundaries. He wants us to help anyone who needs it, no matter how different they are or whether we think they deserve it, and to do so generously, even if it means sacrificing something for ourselves. This challenges us to love our neighbors deeply and selflessly, no matter who they are or when they need help.
When we look at our sense of duty, we see that acts of love can fall short if they’re only done because we feel we have to, without a readiness for significant sacrifice or risk. The story of the Good Samaritan encourages us to understand what it’s like to need help from a surprising source, even from an enemy. Experiencing this kind of deep kindness is key to becoming people who love and help others deeply. Accepting Jesus Christ’s teachings is what truly changes us and sets us free.
Being a follower of Jesus means seeing and responding to the needs of others with kindness, like the Samaritan in the story. It also means combining sharing Jesus’ message with practical help for those in need, since Christianity grows when both physical and spiritual needs are met. Furthermore, it means working towards racial harmony, realizing that racism comes from not fully understanding Jesus’ teachings, and aiming for repentance and humility to truly accept God’s kindness through Jesus Christ.