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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 10 - Verse 37

Verse 37. He that showed mercy. His Jewish prejudice would not permit him to name the Samaritan, but there was no impropriety, even in his view, in saying that the man who showed so much mercy was really the neighbour to the afflicted, and not he who professed to be his neighbour, but who would do nothing for his welfare.

Go, and do thou likewise. Show the same kindness to all—to friend and foe—and then you will have evidence that you keep the law, and not till then. Of this man we know nothing farther; but from this inimitably beautiful parable we may learn—

1. That the knowledge of the law is useful to make us acquainted with our own sinfulness and need of a Saviour.

2. That it is not he who professes most kindness that really loves us most, but he who will most deny himself that he may do us good in times of want.

3. That religion requires us to do good to all men, however accidentally we may become acquainted with their calamities.

4. That we should do good to our enemies. Real love to them will lead us to deny ourselves, and to sacrifice our own welfare, that we may help them in times of distress and alleviate their wants.

5. That he is really our neighbour who does us the most good— who helps us in our necessities, and especially if he does this when there has been a controversy or difference between us and him.

6. We hence see the beauty of religion. Nothing else will induce men to surmount their prejudices, to overcome opposition, and to do good to those who are at enmity with them. True religion teaches us to regard every man as our neighbour; prompts us to do good to all, to forget all national or sectional distinctions, and to aid all those who are in circumstances of poverty and want. If religion were valuable for nothing but this, it would be the most lovely and desirable principle on earth, and all, especially in their early years, should seek it. Nothing that a young person can gain will be so valuable as the feeling that regards all the world as one great family, and to learn early to to do good TO ALL.

7. The difference between the Jew and the Samaritan was a difference in religion and religious opinion; and from the example of the latter we may learn that, while men differ in opinions on subjects of religion, and while they are zealous for what they hold to be the truth, still they should treat each other kindly; that they should aid each other in necessity; and that they should thus show that religion is a principle superior to the love of sect, and that the cord which binds man to man is one that is to be sundered by no difference of opinion, that Christian kindness is to be marred by no forms of Worship, and by no bigoted attachment for what we esteem the doctrines of the gospel.

{o} "He that showed mercy" Pr 14:21; Ho 6:6; Mic 6:8; Mt 23:23

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