CULTURE WARS | Ready for War

Luke 10:25-37 - One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” 27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” 29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. 31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. 33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ 36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

The story builds on a common situation, an 18-mile journey on the Jericho-to-Jerusalem road. This rocky thoroughfare was lined with caves that made good hideouts for bandits. The road was notoriously dangerous. Josephus notes how some took weapons to protect themselves as they traveled this road and others like it. (Jewish Wars 2.8.4 §125).  Pompey the Great, was a General and political leader of the late Roman Republic mentions this road.

I. The Innkeeper

A. A place of safety

  • An inn is generally considered to be a place of lodging travelers. Sojourners.
  • It was a safe place that someone could wait out the night. 
  • Public inns existed in Greek times and throughout the Roman period, as well as the practice of offering hospitality in one’s home to the traveling stranger.

B. Three Greek words are used in the New Testament to describe a lodging place or inn. 

  1. kataluma: which literally means “to unloose” or “to unharness"
    • describes a place to sleep like a guest room in someone’s home rather than a formal Inn, perhaps even with animals. Airbnb.
  2. ksenia: which can mean the general concept of hospitality or specific quarters within a person’s home, like a guest room. Bed and breakfast.
  3. pandocheion: This is the word for our story.
    • The word is which means a public place that would be more like our twentieth-century understanding of hotel accommodations At this inn, the man could pay money to stay overnight and be given food and a place to keep his animal.

C. The Inn and the Church

I can’t help but draw the comparison between the two
A sanctuary for people. To hold back the terrors of the darkness.

1 Timothy 3:14-15 - I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon, so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

D. Every one of you are an Innkeeper of this local church.

  • We have to be ready. Are you ready to lend a hand? To cover expenses like this Samaritan asked.
  • Are you paralyzed with debt?
  • Are you so wrapped in bitterness you can only think of yourself?
  • Does the sin that easily besets you or the addiction you have run your life?
  • Have you changed your cultural mindset? That you are here to serve and if you are called on are you ready to do what needs to be done.

>>> We must be ready because the Samaritan is coming. He is bringing us people. He will bring them here for us to care for until he returns.

II. Jesus is the Samaritan

A. The Samaritan charges the innkeeper

Protect him from further harm. Care for him as if he was a member of my very own family.

B. I will return

To settle up and make sure this man can get back on his feet. Things will be right again.

C. This story is really about the storyteller himself.  This parable is Jesus' identifying himself with the Samaritan. 

He was willing to not only claim us as his own but also pay all present and future debts through his death and resurrection.

III. Portrait of a follower of Christ

A. The picture

  • Samaritan / who is moved with compassion without regard to who it is. Not easily offended.
  • Priest / A representative of God Almighty. An ambassador that is back up by the power and authority of Jesus Christ himself.
  • Levite / Born and equipped to serve. It is not what I do it is who I am as a son or daughter of God.
  • Inn Keeper / Part of the Church. The bride of Christ. A sanctuary for those who are hurting. Ready with open arms to have a safe place to wait out the night until the glorious return of Jesus.

B. The question is…

  • Are we true purveyors of God’s compassion? Even to those that may ridicule and hate us.
  • Can we represent God in a way that is trustworthy or are we duplicitous? Saying one thing and doing another. 
  • Are we using the gifts and resources God has given us to care for others written off for dead until Christ returns and makes all things new and right?
  • Are we willing caretakers as we look after and speak up for those victimized by all sorts of violence, oppression, poverty, and manifestations of evil? 

C. You get to choose

Galatians 5:13 - For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another

God's going to do what He is going to do. Will you be a part of it or will you cross to the other side of the road?

Summary

What a parable that Jesus crafted so we could see who we are and what we are supposed to do. In this culture war, we may never change a person’s mind and they may never accept Christ and His plan for their life and just like the inns of old the church doesn’t have a stellar reputation. Here at A Fresh Wind, we will hold onto our mission. We will be what He has made us to be.

Pray with me as I pray that people will draw near to us, that we will take risks, extend radical hospitality, and pursue justice for all those victimized by systems, assumptions, and labels bent on marginalization and oppression. Because this is the Church of the Living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.  And we will remain that until the good Samaritan comes again to settle all accounts.