Saturday, 4 August 2018

TREATISE ON THE SAMARITAN

I have a friend—her name is Edith—who told me about the day she decided to follow Jesus. Edith cared nothing for religion. But one Sunday morning she walked into a church near her apartment looking for something to satisfy her discontented soul. The text that day was Luke 15:1–2, which the pastor read from the King James Version: “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”

That’s what it said, but this is what Edith heard: “This man receives sinners and Edith with them.” She sat straight up in her pew! Eventually she realized her mistake, but the thought that Jesus welcomed sinners—and that included Edith—stayed with her. That afternoon she decided to “draw near” to Jesus and listen to Him. She began to read the Gospels, and soon she decided to put her faith in Him and follow Him.

The religious folks of Jesus’s day were scandalized by the fact that He ate and drank with sinful, awful people. Their rules prohibited them from associating with such folk. Jesus paid no attention to their made-up rules. He welcomed the down-and-out and gathered them to Him, no matter how far gone they were.

Heavenly Father, we can’t thank You enough for the radical love of Your Son, who drew all of us outcasts and moral failures to Him, and made the way for us to come to You in joy and boldness. “God pursues us in our restlessness, receives us in our sinfulness, holds us in our brokenness.”  Scotty Smith.

The parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:1–7) is the first in a series of parables about lost things. It’s followed by the parable of the lost coin (vv. 8–10) and the parable of the lost son, better known as the prodigal son (vv. 11–32).

Although each of the parables is about something lost, there’s also something in each that isn’t lost—the sheep safe in the pen, the remaining coins, and the elder son at home. Yet the shepherd, the woman, and the father are not content with what they have; their concern is for that which is lost.

Is someone in your life lost and waiting to be found by the Savior? Whom can you trust to God’s loving and searching ways? Why would you live a life of defeat when God has already secured your victory! Get up and win today! Don’t doubt what has been destined for you. God is faithful to deliver! Let every spirit of infirmity, poverty, lack, death, destruction and all wickedness be overturned in the name of Jesus! Whom the Son sets free is free indeed! “Suddenly” keeps sounding off in my spirit!

I declare a SUDDEN restoration, victory, deliverance and revival in your life! In the name of Jesus!! Get ready for God to do a quick work!! God is a vindicator! The “wrongs” in your life will be made “right”! When your life is built on the Rock, Jesus, storms will come but you will stand and  not be defeated!

Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. —Joshua 1:7

Living a life of consistent confidence in the promises of God's Word takes courage. Most people don't realize it, but it does! It takes courage to stand up in the face of sickness and declare you're healed by the stripes of Jesus. It takes courage to believe for prosperity and put your last cedi in the offering bowl when you don't know where the next meal will come from. There are going to be some days when you'd rather pull the covers over your head and hide than take another faith stand against the devil. The faith walk is a tough walk, and if we want to keep living in victory, we have to be ready to fight again and again.

There's no way around it. This is why it is called "the fight of faith". The children of Israel tried to find a way around it but they failed. They thought their battles should be over when they crossed the Red Sea. So when they heard reports of giants living in the Promised Land, they decided they couldn't face the fight. Their courage failed them. So they took a 40-year diversion through the wilderness.

But you know what? They still couldn't avoid that fight. When the time came for the next generation to enter the Promised Land, the giants were still there! This time, however, they found the courage to face them. Where did they find it? In the Word of God. Their leader, Joshua, had obeyed the instruction of the Lord and kept that Word on his mind and in his heart day and night. He'd meditated on it and let it constantly remind him that God was on their side.

If you're going to fight the good fight of faith to the finish, you'll have to do just like Joshua did. You'll have to continually draw courage from the Word of God and let it change you from a coward to an overcomer.

“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him”
2 Chronicles 16:9KJV.

Dearly beloved and friends, our Father in heaven sees everything about us and there is no hiding  place from Him. His eyes are full of compassion and love.Here is how a Gospel Musician, Amy Grant puts it:

"Eyes that find the good in things,
When good is not around;
Eyes that find the source of help,
When help just can't be found;
Eyes full of compassion, Seeing every pain;
Knowing what you're going through
And feeling it the same ,My Father’s eyes”

Here are scriptures encouraging you, that God sees and cares even in that your situation:
”Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”  Isaiah‬ ‭49:15‬. 2.“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” Psalms‬ ‭103:13‬. 3.“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” Isaiah‬ ‭43:1‬. 4.“For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”‭‭Zechariah‬ ‭2:8‬. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God (Ephesians 3:19).

I want you to observe the Apostle Paul’s choice of words carefully; he said, “And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge....” How can you know something that surpasses knowledge? Here, he distinguishes between two kinds of knowledge: revelation knowledge and scientific knowledge. The word translated “know” above is “ginosko,” which means knowledge by revelation.

The other word translated “knowledge,” is the Greek word “gnosis,” which is knowledge based on science or intellectual activity. This is knowledge gained through the natural senses. Understanding the love of Christ is beyond scientific or intellectual knowledge; it requires the revelation of the Spirit.

In science, there’re no absolutes; all its laws are based on theories and assumptions. However, in revelation knowledge, there’re no assumptions. Science can’t unveil to you the passion of Jesus Christ, which He demonstrated on the cross of Calvary. No matter what books of this world you study, you’ll never get to know the significance and import of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You may have an idea, but you won’t have the understanding; that can only be granted you by revelation of the Word of God.

Knowing the love of Christ beyond your senses and human definitions. You can be a Christian for many years, or even a preacher, and still not know what the love of Christ is.

Our calling is to know and express the love of God. Part of the ministry of the Spirit in your life is to grant you this revelation knowledge; He teaches you the Word, and grants you insight into the secrets and mysteries of the Kingdom. Therefore, relying on Him, and affirming that He’s with you to teach you and unveil the Word to you as you study, is very important.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them , because they are spiritually discerned.

Philippians 3:8-10
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, [9] And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: [10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.

Luke 10:30-35 “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”

The story of the Good Samaritan is a parable with a hidden meaning.  I want us to focus on the various characters in this story. They are: the unknown “wounded” man, the priest, the publican, the Samaritan the Inn and the inn keeper.

#1. The Unknown Wounded Man.
He represents humanity and suffering. He could be you; he could be me. Life is tough and by the time you go through the road of life, you will receive your fair share of wounds; betrayal, poverty, sickness, deception, miscarriage, divorce etc. Everyone will have his fair share.
This is how Job describes the journey of life; “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” Job 14:1.

It is dangerous to traverse the journey of life alone; you need Jesus to lead you and people by your side. This man travelled alone. Never travel alone. There are many dangers on the road. More so, the devil tempts you more when you are alone. If you will remember, the temptation of Jesus occurred when He was alone.

#2. The Priest and the Levite.
They are symbolic of the church of God, which sometimes remains apathetic to the spiritual state of mankind, and the sufferings of humanity. Their reaction to the plight of the unknown wounded man is instructive.

The priest passed by when he saw him. He switched to the other side of the road. Many Christians have failed to share their faith in Christ with others. The Levite came and looked on him. He represents the curious observer who just wants to “watch a movie” but is not interested in helping.

Have you ever been on a road where an accident has occurred? Traffic usually builds up not because people want to help; they just want to look, shake their heads and drive on. It’s time for the church to engage the world and share the gospel.

#3. The Samaritan.
He represents Christ. He approached this wounded filthy man even though he did not know him. He was a liability, but he loved him. He was heavy to carry, but he still carried him. People’s problems can be heavy. He was beaten, wounded and rejected by everyone, but he loved him. He did not approach him in the best of times, but in the worst of times. “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:7-8.

The Samaritan Poured In Oil And Wine.
The red wine represents the blood of Jesus and the oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. When we repent and take Jesus as our lord and saviour, we entrust ourselves wholly to “Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.” Revelation 1:5.

After this, he poured in the oil - the symbol of the Holy Spirit. When you become born again, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you. “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 1 Corinthians 3:16.

#4. The Inn and Inn Keeper.
The inn where he took the unknown wounded man represents the church, and the inn keeper represents God’s pastors.

After you are saved, one way Christ provides for your spirit, soul and body is through the church. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32. The church is supposed to nurture and minister to the lost, the hurting and the oppressed.

No wonder the Samaritan provided money and care for this wounded man. As long as the church plays its role, the Samaritan - Christ, will provide the necessary resources needed to reach out to the lost.

Finally, the Samaritan promised to come back. Jesus will be back to take His children home. Are you ready? Are you born again? Are you prepared to do His will? Jesus is coming back! John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

  • BIBLIOGRAPHY
1.Our Daily Bread by  J.R. Hudberg
2.Living Word Devotional by Pastor Mensa Otabil
3.The Family Menu [ The Watchful Eyes Of God ]
4. Rhapsody Of Realities Daily Devotional by Pastor Chris
5. Weekly Teaching Letter – The Samaritan!

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