From Heaven With Love


Chapter 54—The Good Samaritan

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

As Christ was teaching the people, “a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The priests and rabbis had thought to entangle Christ by having the lawyer ask this question. But the Saviour entered into no controversy. “What is written in the law?” He said. “How readest thou?” He turned the question of salvation on the keeping of God's commandments. HLv 335.1

The lawyer said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus said, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” HLv 335.2

The lawyer had been studying the Scriptures to learn their real meaning. In his answer as to the requirements of the law, he claimed no value for the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic precepts, but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. This answer, being commended by Christ, placed the Saviour on vantage ground with the rabbis. HLv 335.3

“This do, and thou shalt live,” Jesus said. He presented the law as a divine unity. It is not possible to keep one precept, and break another; the same principle runs through them all. Supreme love to God and impartial love to man are the principles to be wrought out in the life. HLv 335.4

The lawyer was convicted under Christ's searching words. He had not manifested love toward his fellowman. But instead of repenting, he tried to justify himself, saying, “Who is my neighbor?” HLv 335.5

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 multitude, the “unclean,” as neighbors? HLv 336.1