01-31-11 Luke 10 – Humility, grace, and the inability to earn salvation

January 31, 2011

Luke 10:25-26 NKJV

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? ”

Christ knew this guy was an expert in the law, the Torah, so He questions him back here.

Luke 10:26-27 NKJV

He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? ” So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

So he quotes dueteronomy 6. This loving the Lord and loving your neighbor is the basis for it all. If we can do that, great! But we actually wrestle with this. Everyone does. We can’t earn our salvation as none of us can do this fully. Then the guy goes on attempting to test Christ but also to justify himself.

Luke 10:28-29 NKJV

And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Who is our neighbor? Perhaps if it’s just the person next door to us then we can love them as our self. But it’s more than that. It’s everyone.

And Christ wants to send the point home here that you can’t do anything to save yourself. If this is your question then it’s wrong. It should be “Whom can save me?”’ not, “What can I do to save myself?”.

Luke 10:30 NKJV

Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

This still happens on the same road today. It’s a long winding road perfect for theifs.

Luke 10:31 NKJV

Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

Now this was a priest and of all people he should be concerned with this mans life. Are we sometimes like him? When we are busy on our own way do we ever see someone in need and chose to ignore them? Do we ever walk on by? When we see someone in need and we don’t act on it, over time we will lose the ability to feel. We need to go out of our way to help them, even if you are scared or busy or expected some where. Don’t turn a blind eye to those in need.

Luke 10:32 NKJV

Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.

The levites were of the same faith as this jewish man that lay there in need. The levites were the assistants of the preist. He at least looks at the guy and takes notice of him. But alas, he too continues on without helping. This is far too easy today to see a need and just keep right on going.

Luke 10:33 NKJV

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.

Samaritans were looked on with content by the Israelites. But he looks past all the cultural bounderies and shows compassion.

Compassion is defined as follows:


  1. 1. a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire toalleviate the suffering.

Another definition even goes so far as to replace “strong desire” with “bowels aching for”.

Luke 10:34 NKJV

So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

In many ways this man was similar to Jesus. Loving his neighbor as himself. Putting oil on him. Paying the mans debt at the inn.

About two days wage and twenty days worth of food is what this came to. When was the last time you or I did that? (this is rhetorical – don’t seek human glory by responding – ;-)) What if we made this offer today? That’d put most of us in the poor house. Can you imagine taking someone you found in need to a local hospital and giving them your credit card saying, “hey, whatever the bill is, I got this.”?

Luke 10:35-37 NKJV

On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

JESUS IS NOT TEACHING A WORKS BASED SALVATION. He is instead, teaching this man that you cannot do it on your own. You need Jesus to save you. Christ was humbling this man by telling him this story. This man lived by law and as you read in Romans the law was written to bring light to out sin so that we might realize our need to be justified freely by the grace of God and redemption through Jesus.

Romans 3:19-24 NKJV

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Love God with everything and your neighbor as yourself not because it saves you but because if you are saved this is the supernatural response because you are forgiven. We should live holier lives being saved by grace then those that are trying to earn salvation by being holy.

When we see someone that doesn’t have food or clothes, we know that we would want food or clothes if in their shoes and thus we should provide it also for them. When we see someone who knows not Jesus as their savior, well, again this is something we would want if we had it not and thus we should offer to provide. We have the ability to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ. Think larger than the person next door. Think about the entire world and look through the Lord’s eyes. You have so many opportunities to get involved in other’s lives and love them. Las Vegas was the only city in America with a higher suicide rate than Colorado Springs last year. It’s almost a for sure thing that you know someone who is considering taking their own life. Blink your eyes. Get out of the fast paced robotic living and look around. There is human trafficing. Kids being kidnapped right here in Colorado Springs to be sold into prostitution. The body of Christ has the ability to do something about “the man in the ditch”. We must decide to see things the way they really are and step out and do something about it. If we are the body of Christ, then why aren’t more of us being healing hands and reaching out to others? We don’t save, but God does and he wants to use you to reach people. Don’t just meet with God on Sundays… let Him work through you every day. Burst some comfort bubbles and be used to reach others.


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