The Signs of the Times


July 23, 1894

“This Do, and Thou Shalt Live”



In the parable Jesus presented a stranger, a neighbor, a brother in suffering, wounded and dying. How much more should their hearts have been moved with pity for him than for a beast of burden! But, though priests and scribes had read the law, they had not brought it into their practical life. They had read: “For The Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward; he doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” “And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.” ST July 23, 1894, par. 1

In speaking of the manner in which the priest and the Levite treated the wounded man, the lawyer had heard nothing out of harmony with his own ideas, nothing contrary to the forms and ceremonies that he had been taught were all the law required. But Jesus presented another scene: 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 twopence, 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. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” ST July 23, 1894, par. 2

After Christ had shown up the cruelty and selfishness manifested by the representatives of the nation, he brought forward the Samaritan, who was despised, hated, and cursed by the Jews, and set him before them as one who possessed attributes of character far superior to those possessed by those who claimed exalted righteousness. The Samaritan manifested the pity and love that the priest and Levite gave no evidence of possessing. He gave a demonstration that he had a heart that could feel for suffering humanity, that he had nobility of soul to show mercy to one whom he knew not, that his love was of the right quality, flowing out in disinterested benevolence, and making him treat the wounded stranger as he would desire to be treated were he placed in similar circumstances. ST July 23, 1894, par. 3

Everyone who claims to be a child of God should note every detail of this lesson. The wounded and bruised sufferer was a man, and the Samaritan showed himself to be a man. He did not stop to consider whether or not this man would be pleasant or disagreeable, whether he was a Jew or a Gentile. He knew that he was in need of help from humanity. “Thy neighbor” does not mean one of the church or faith to which you belong. If our names are upon the church book, we should represent the mercy, compassion, and tenderness of Jesus Christ, with no thought as to race, color, or class distinction. The Samaritan realized that there was before him a human being in need and suffering, and as soon as he sees him, he has compassion upon him. ST July 23, 1894, par. 4

He takes off his own garment with which to cover his nakedness, and uses the oil and wine he has provided for his own comfort to heal and refresh the wounded man. He forgets that he may be in danger of similar treatment from robbers by tarrying in the place, and places the man on his beast, and moves slowly along, with even pace, so that the stranger may not be jarred and made to suffer increased pain. He brings him to a comfortable inn, takes care of him through the night, watching his case carefully, and in the morning, as the suffering has improved, he ventures to leave him to the care of the inn keeper. He hands him a sum of money, bidding him care for the stranger, and saying that if he spends more than he has provided, he will repay him on his return. ST July 23, 1894, par. 5

The Samaritan followed the impulse of a kind and loving heart. Christ so presented the scene that the most severe rebuke was placed upon the unfeeling actions of priest and Levite. But this lesson is not only for them; but for Christians of this day, and is a solemn warning to us that for humanity's sake we may not fail to show mercy and pity to those who suffer. Like Judaism, Christianity has become perverted, and selfishness and cold formality have quenched the fire of love, and dispelled the graces that would make fragrant the character. Holding up before the lawyer the course of the Samaritan, Jesus said to him (for he was no pretender), “Go, and do thou likewise.” There are many who are sentimental, and who are ready to weep over any tale of woe, but who do not manifest real love in doing for the needy those things that should be done. But those who have read this lesson, and have been benefited, will be able to distinguish real love from sentimentalism. ST July 23, 1894, par. 6

In the parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus presented his own love and character. The life of Christ was filled with works of love toward the lost and erring. In the man bruised and wounded and stripped of his possessions, the sinner is represented. The human family, the lost race, is pictured in the sufferer, left naked, bleeding, and destitute. Jesus takes his own robe of righteousness to cover the soul, and whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. The Lord Jesus gives no encouragement to the idea that one is superior to another, and justifies no one in cherishing feelings of contempt or even indifference toward his fellow-men. The law of God is the standard to which all must attain, and sinful man can obey that law only by the merit and grace of Jesus Christ, who has died for his salvation. ST July 23, 1894, par. 7