Sermon July 19, 2020

The Good in “THOSE” People

(More than one “Good” Samaritan)

Luke 10:25-37, John 4:4-26, Mark 7:24-30 (See Matthew 15:21-28), Luke 17:11-19

The verses for today’s message are about those despised Samaritans.  Looked down on by all full-blooded Jews, excluded from worship, if you saw one coming you would cross the street so you would pass them with the farthest distance possible.  Why were they so hated?

  1. Once part of the whole nation of Israel under the Reign of Solomon, son of David, the nation split under Solomon’s son Rehoboam with the Northern Kingdom called Israel and the Southern Kingdom called Judah.  The kingdom split over- get this- Rehoboam’s inability to help the Northern Kingdoms struggling economy.  It was the same with his Grandfather, King David, as Israel gathered rebels to support Absalom, viewed as the rightful son of David to secede his father to the throne.  Instead, Solomon was chosen.  The community did not view Solomon, the second son of Bathsheba (former married woman to Uriah the Hittite who was on of David’s trusted generals) and so many had LOUD opinions on Solomon and Bathsheba.  Those positions never get resolved and it led to a Civil War. (The Books of Samuel and Judges)
  2. The Two Kingdoms fought over the reconstruction of the Temple under King Cyrus of Persia.  King Cyrus allowed the Kingdom of Israel to return first to rebuild the Temple.  They fought with Judah and discouraged them daily to help with the rebuilding of the Temple, so much so, the Southern Kingdom of Judah, along with Benjamin, who was east of the Jordan River, bribed the next king after King Cyrus and the went over the head of King Darius, Xerxes, by sending him a convincing letter along with “wink-wink” a bribe to get what they wanted. Construction of the Temple stopped completely until the second year of King Darius’ reign. (Ezra 4)
  3. Now [about 180 BCE] in Alexandria [Egypt] the Jews and the Samaritans — who worshipped on Mount Gerizim at the temple built under Alexander the Great — happened to quarrel with each other. And they debated about (their) temples before Ptolemy (VI Philometer). The Jews said the one in Jerusalem was built according to laws of Moses and the Samaritans, the one on Gerizim. And they called on the king in session with his comrades to hear their arguments about this and to put the losers to death.  Now the Jews who happened to be in Alexandria were in great anxiety… For they took it hard that anyone might destroy (their shrine)….(But) Andronicus persuaded the king to judge that the temple in Jerusalem had been built according to laws of Moses and to execute (their Samaritan opponents). [1]
  4. Now (about 9 CE) when Judea was administered by Coponius, who was sent out by Quirinius [the Roman governor of Syria] …these things occurred: During the

celebration of the feast of Unleavened Bread, which we call Passover, in a custom of the priests the gates of the temple [in Jerusalem] were opened after midnight.

And then, when their opening first occurred, Samaritan men coming into Jerusalem in secret, began to scatter human bones in the porticoes and throughout the temple. (So, the priests), who were not accustomed to such things before, managed the temple with greater care. [2]

That is just a brief history of “THOSE” people.  You may be sitting there today either listening or reading this in you bulletin, and some of you may feel that some of these positions were justified.  The problem with that is this: It is an act of segregation, purposeful racism, sexism, and actions that encouraged conflict by both sides.  But look at Jesus’ ministry and see that the Samaritans were the ones that were more receptive to the teachings of Jesus than that of the Jews.  Jesus’ final days of ministry and his teaching to be counter cultural and Kingdom oriented led him to attacked in every way possible.  He ate with sinners (tax collectors, those who were sick, those born with infirmities like lameness, blindness, or deafness, those who were divorced or viewed at committing adultery, and worst of all, he was friends with Samaritans!)  Luke explains this quite clearly in chapters 17 thru 21 that are other “GOOD SAMARITANS” outside of the Luke 10 parable.  Here are some interesting recordings of what Jesus did that made those around Him angrier by each passing event:

  1. Cleanses the 10 lepers– only the Samaritan returned to thank Jesus.
  2. Parable of the widow and the unjust judge.
  3. Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.
  4. Blesses the children.
  5. The rich young ruler.
  6. That wee little man Zacchaeus. (Notice he was a “GOOD” tax collector)

Now these 6 recording led people, especially the Pharisees and the majority of Jews to make schemes to demean him, to test Him so that He could be charged with heresy or being a Zealot (someone who fought for the liberty of Israel as a nation without foreign oversight).

  • Blind Beggar near Jericho.
  • Parable of the Wicked Tenants. (Dispute over taxes, resurrection, and heritage)
  • The Widows offering.
  • The curse of the Fig Tree.

Those who Jesus took care of in bold: the Samaritans, the widows, the tax collectors, the physically sick, the one’s born infirmed, and the poor.

The one’s Jesus rebuked: the legalistic and religious, the wealthy, the one’s that found excuses and rules on whom deserved help and who didn’t and therefore were making unjust decisions.

More “Good Samaritans:

  1. Mark 7:24-30 (See also Matthew 15:21-28).  Not only a Samaritan, but her ethnicity is mentioned, Syrophoenician (Greek Canaanite).  Her husband is not mentioned (Widow) and her daughter (child) is possessed by a demon.  Her FAITH = HEALING. 
  2. John 4:4-30.  Samaritan married 5 times and living with a man (who she is not married to) now.  FAITH = ACCEPTANCE
  3. Luke 7:1-10. Lived in Samaria (his house was in Capernaum. Remember the water to wine recording), was not of Jewish decent (Greco Roman), his home was not worthy to have Jesus come into (reference to his Roman idols and religion) but has a sick servant (slave).  FAITH = IN HELPING SERVANTS (freeing the slaves).

There are too many stories that continue to support this idea, but I feel led to return to what Jesus says in amongst all these recordings…

Luke 17:1-10

Luke 4:16-30

Faith means doing it Jesus’ way.  Doing it Jesus’ way may lead the world to want to throw you off a cliff.  Even so, Jesus still ministered to the world, it was up to the world to make a decision that led to FAITH.  That FAITH is your salvation and the possible salvation of “OTHERS”.  The world does not operate this way, but His church should.  We are to offer the FREEING message of the Gospel, the HEALING of the afflicted (our sin, everyone’s sin), and ACCEPTANCE rather than rejection.

[1] Josephus, Antiquities 13.74, 77-79

[2] Josephus, Antiquities 18.29-30

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