Humble Hero


The Good Samaritan

This chapter is based on Luke 10:25-37.

As Christ was teaching the people, “a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’” The priests and rabbis had thought they would entangle Christ by having the lawyer ask this question. But the Savior entered into no controversy. “What is written in the law?” He said. “What is your reading of it?” He turned the question of salvation on the keeping of God’s commandments. HH 231.1

The lawyer said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and “your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” HH 231.2

The lawyer had been studying the Scriptures to learn their real meaning. In his answer about the law’s requirements, he claimed no value for the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic instructions but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. This answer, which Christ commended, gave the Savior an advantage with the rabbis. HH 231.3

“Do this and you will live,” Jesus said. He presented the law as a divine unity. It is not possible to keep one commandment and break another, because the same principle runs through them all. Supreme love to God and impartial love to others are the principles to be lived out in the life. HH 231.4

The lawyer was convicted under Christ’s uncompromising words. He had not shown love toward others within his reach. But instead of repenting, he tried to justify himself, saying, “Who is my neighbor?” HH 231.5

Among the Jews, this question caused endless dispute. The heathen and Samaritans were strangers and enemies, but where should the distinction be made among people of their own nation and different classes of society? Were they to regard the ignorant and careless crowds, the “unclean,” as neighbors? HH 231.6