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Opening Questions and Prayer

  • Who has been the best neighbor you’ve had?

  • What made them a good neighbor?

  • Ask the Lord to expand your view of what a neighbor is and ask Him to help you to be a good neighbor.

Read Luke 10:25-26 NLT

25 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?”

  • Who is in the audience when Jesus talks to the expert in religious law?

  • How is this man trying to test Jesus?

  • How do people ask this same question about eternal life today?

  • Why does Jesus answer the man’s question with a question?

  • Why does God sometimes answer your prayers with a question?

Read Luke 10:27-29

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?”

  • How does the expert in religious law answer using the law of Moses?

  • After Jesus agrees with him, why doesn’t the man drop the matter?

  • Why does the man want a better definition of who his neighbor is?

  • What are some ways people try to do the bare minimum to follow Jesus?

  • Are there any areas in your life where you are just going through the motions or doing the least possible just to justify yourself before God?

  • Why is living this way dangerous?

Read Luke 10:30-32

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.

  • What would have been shocking and disappointing about this story to those who were listening?

  • What might have been some reasons the priest and the temple assistant didn’t help the hurt man?

  • What are some reasons people overlook others who need help?

  • What are some ways you avoid people who need help?

  • Why do we find it difficult to help those in need, especially those with a big need?

Read Luke 10:33-35

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.’

  • How did the Samaritan respond differently than the two Jewish men?

    • Why would this have been shocking and frustrating to the audience?

    • See John 4:9a- The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.

  • How did the Samaritan go above and beyond to help the hurt man?

  • When have you been hurting and needing help and someone stepped in and helped you?

  • What are some ways you can go out of your way to help others?

  • Is there someone that comes to mind that you can help this week?

Read Luke 10:36-37

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.”

  • How does this exchange answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?”

  • What would have been difficult about this parable for the expert in the law?

  • Since Jesus defines a neighbor as anyone who needs to be shown mercy, how can we be better neighbors?

  • How could followers of Jesus be better neighbors to those who don’t follow Jesus?

  • What is one way you could be a better neighbor this week?

Memorize it!

Luke 10:36-37

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.”

Closing thoughts and Prayer

For many, this may be a parable that you’ve heard many times and therefore, could just tune it out. The whole parable is being told to answer the question of a man who wants to just get by with doing the bare minimum. “What do I have to do to get to heaven? I pray, got baptized, and show up to church on Sunday. Is that enough?”

Often we ask the same questions without really digging deep into what it really means to live a life surrendered daily to Christ. In this parable Jesus is showing how His followers live within His Kingdom. Often we look for ways out of situations in which we have to help someone, but Jesus is saying that we should be running towards those in need.

Spend time asking the Lord for forgiveness for the times you have run away from others who were in pain and needed help. Ask the Lord to help you make steps towards being a good neighbor. End your time praying for someone who you know needs help. Ask for wisdom in how to help them and point them to Jesus in the process.


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