Who Was He?
The Gospel writer Luke records the story of the Good Samaritan, and in so writing all about this wonderful, beautiful parable of kindness, the Holy Spirit chooses not to mention who he was, no name is given. As the story unfolds, that good man from Samaria reveals his identity so vividly that no doubt remains as to whom Jesus is speaking. Yes, Jesus reveals himself to a “certain lawyer” who needed more than the moral law of religion in finding his quest for eternal life, he needed a soul-saving relationship; only then would he possess the kindness of the Good Samaritan. That kind man without a name in the story is Jesus, seeking to find lost mankind alongside of the road, beaten and battered with sin, just like the man “who fell among thieves, wounded and left half dead” (10:30). What a clearly presented portrayal of salvation offered to lost mankind as spoken of in the epistle of Titus: “But after that the kindness, and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared. Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (3:4, 5).
You see, a very important question was addressed to the Lord that day, “Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” In answer, the Lord having known all about his self-righteous spirit, asked him, “What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and all thy mind: and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live” (10:25-28). Then, “he willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, and who is my neighbor?” So, as seen from the narrative, this man had a heart problem, evidenced with his disinterest in the DOING part of love. You see, there is an active part of loving: “this DO and thou shalt live” and that is only possible when one is first ALIVE IN GOD, in order THEN to do, TO LOVE. A man must first side-step the religion of his moral self-righteousness in order to meet up with the Lord, the Good Samaritan. The story shines a dim light on the life-less morality of both the Priest and the Levite who “passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him had compassion on him” (v. 33). Then Jesus asked the unsaved lawyer, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou was neighbor unto him? And he said, he that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, go and do thou likewise” (36-37). Here’s the clincher, the only way that one can “go and do thou likewise” is if he is the one who possesses the indwelling Spirit of God, portrayed by the Good Samaritan. So, who was he? He is the One who can give you not only the answer concerning eternal life, but give you a life inclusive of HIS LIFE ETERNAL, namely kindness. That eternal life, and that neighborly love is found in none other than Jesus. Then, who can that good Samaritan be in order for him to do thou likewise? He could be anyone that has the life of Christ and his kindness alive in his heart. He could be YOU, if you possess HIS life within; you then have the answer to the lawyer’s question of: how can I inherit eternal life? It’s the life of, and from the kindest ONE ever; only then will “who is my neighbor” no longer be in question.