The Samaritan who met the man by the side of the road in Luke 10:30-35 is a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ who meets wounded sinners on the side of the road of life and rescues them from death, destruction, and despair. Let us read the passage together and meditate upon it and see some of the wondrous pictures. We will look at the passage under the following headings.
The Compassion Which He Displayed
"A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho." What an apt picture of the sinner who according to the Lord Jesus in Matt. 7:13-14 is also on a downward road to the place of the curse and who likewise has been subjected to a fall. His fall is the result of that of Adam, the federal head of the human race, who when he fell, took with him all successive generations of humanity. The man was wounded, robbed, stripped of his dress and dignity, and left to die. With the priest and the Levite, who came only by coincidence, there was nothing but curiosity for they were void of compassion and carried no cure. They could only look and leave him in his misery, but they could not love.
"But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed." Here was one coming, not by chance, but with purpose of heart on a journey that would cause his path to cross that of the wounded traveler on the road of life. "He came where he was." This is the great truth of Hebrews 2. While the previous chapter sets forth the glories of the Son of God and His position as higher than the angels, this one sets Him forth as the One who became for a little while lower than the angels, for He came to where we were. There was no limit to the depths of His stoop in humiliation. He came to where we were! He, like the Samaritan, looked! He loved! He labored! He lifted!
The Care Which He Demonstrated
"He led him to an inn and took care of him." Would it not have been enough if he had cared for him on the road? The sympathetic Samaritan led him to an inn and took care of him there and then committed him to the care of the innkeeper with a word in the original that is used only in one other place in the New Testament, that being in 1 Tim 3:5. The Great Example of care-giving was indeed the Lord Jesus for "When He saw the multitudes, His heart went out to them because they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd." (Matt. 9:36). When he saw sisters weeping at the departure of their brother, He wept with them in their sorrow (John 11:33). When He saw that the only son of a widowed mother had died, He had compassion on her and delivered him back to his mother (Luke 7:12).
The Charge Which He Delivered
Do you hear the words of the Samaritan who saved the traveler from death as he now commands the host of the inn to take care of him? If we believe that the inn is a picture of the local church, then we see the work of those who are raised up of God as care-givers within the church. But can we not see also the responsibility of all believers for we are to have the same care one for another, for we are "body of Christ?" (1 Cor. 12:27).
Perhaps we ask, "Why should we take care of him? Why should we take care of her?" This was the essence of Cains question, "Am I my brothers keeper?" (Gen. 4:9). Abraham could have answered that question for him if they had been contemporaries, for when a conflict arose between his servants and those of Lot he said, "We be brethren." When a wayward Lot was overtaken by the enemy, Abraham "brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot" (Gen. 14:11, 14, 16).
Why do we have to do it? We have to do it because of the charge. Do we need any other reason? Could there be any higher command? He says "Take care of Him!" Marys words are powerful, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it!" We have to do it because of His coming again for He said, "When I come again." As the host labored over his recovering guest, with a view to the imminent return of the Samaritan, perchance he also would say, "Perhaps today." We have to do it because of the compensation. He said, "When I come again I will repay you." There was a present reward for he gave him two pence and said "whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee." Is this a blank check from the Bank of Heaven? There are no limits to the reward! How great could be that reward. The Lord has placed a very high value on the work of caring for those wounded on the road of life. We have to do it because of the care already given. This was the truth Paul wanted to impress on the Corinthians when he wrote, "Through thy liberty shall the weak brother perish for whom Christ died?" (1 Cor. 11) A great price had been paid. A great sacrifice had been made. Even to the Ephesian elders Paul said "Shepherd the church of God which He purchased with the blood of His Own." He reminded them of the great value the flock was to the Lord as witnessed by the great price that was paid (Acts 20:28). Our care giving is to be a response to the price paid at the Cross!