A while back I discussed how to read the parables through a gospel lens. Now I’m getting the chance to preach through them at Shoreline and it’s a real joy. Here’s the pertinent gospel-centered section of my recent sermon on the parable of the Good Samaritan:
Where this parable is about a good Samaritan, Jesus is the Great Samaritan. In nearly every detail, Jesus has taken the parable, brought it into real life, and raised the stakes.
Jesus didn’t just see us by chance. The good Samaritan saw the man, verse 33, “as he journeyed.” It was a chance encounter. He wasn’t looking for anyone to save. He just happened by. But as we saw in the parable of the lost sheep Jesus was on a mission. He was coming for us. He knew we were lost. He knew we needed rescue. And so he came. With purpose. For us.
And our state was worse. We weren’t near death. [And this might be how you feel today.] What does Scripture say? This past fall we walked through the book of Ephesians.
“You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
You were dead. No spiritual life. No vigor. No vitality. No strength. No hope.
And the price he paid was so much higher. The good Samaritan gave two days wages, and said, “Do what it takes.” What did it take? Jesus showed us what it takes. The cost of our death, the cost of new hearts, was his life – the death of the Son of God on a Roman cross.
But the outcome was so much greater. The good Samaritan gave his time, money, comfort, respectability so that the man could be restored to his original state. Jesus, the King of kings, died exhausted, in pain, naked, and alone under the curse of the Father not so you can go back to living a normal life. He did it so he could walk out of the tomb on the third day on your behalf.
That’s why Paul can continue in Ephesians 2:
You were dead… “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
That’s how he purchased new hearts for us.