“Go, And Do Thou Likewise” (Luke 10:25-37)
In the above text Jesus twice told this “certain lawyer” to practice his professions. In verse 25 the lawyer asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus’ response was also a question: “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” To the lawyer the two questions proved to be too easy due to the fact that he was being questioned about his profession. He was commended for answering well.
James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” To us, this sounds like saying, ‘Put into practice what you are learning’. Again, Romans 2:13, “(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified….).” This also sounds like saying, ‘Eternal life is solely for the doers of the law’. There also seems a connection with Jesus’ words in Matt. 7:21, “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” For failing to do the will of God many will be surprised to hear the Master’s words of rejection, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Further on we read (Luke 10 v.29): “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus’ answer to this question shows us that he really was a great teacher. He wanted the man to make his own judgment of things – in this case about the behaviour of the men: a priest, a Levite and a “certain Samaritan”.
We are all aware of the part played by each of these three men in the Jewish community. The hero in Jesus’ story was, indeed, the most despised person in the eyes of the Jews. This might have been a deliberate arrangement in order to teach a proud lawyer a lesson. True neighbourliness is not confined to those only within our reach, but to all men, regardless of who they are, hence the emphasis by Jesus, “Go, and do thou likewise.”
Peter has this to say, “And if ye call on the Father who, without respect of persons, judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear”. (1 Peter 1:17)
Bro Sylvester Tembo (Mzuzu, Malawi)