Now Is The Time – To Pay It Forward

Sermon Titled “The Time Is Now” (Luke 10:30-37), by Guest Speaker Juan Turner – Sunday 3rd November, 2013

now is the time

Last weekend’s sermon was delivered by guest speaker Juan Turner, who offered some great insight on the story of The Good Samaritan, as told in Luke 10:30-37.

  • Luke 10:30-37 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

In his sermon, Juan took this section of scripture and used it to demonstrate a cycle of Godly love that begins with Christ showing us love and mercy, and ending with us doing the same for others. “Now is the time,” he says, to “Be followers of Christ on Mission with God.” It’s my goal today to further clarify Juan’s message, by explaining the parable above, and by adding to the title of his sermon: “Now Is The Time – To Pay It Forward.”  

The verses above make reference to at least five characters, all of whom we can learn from in some respective way. The first character, the man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, is someone we all can relate to. He represents everyone traveling the path of life, a path however, self-directed and without the presence of Christ.

Our lives, prior to accepting Christ, were just like that of the man described above. We chose our own paths, not realizing that we were walking a path that God did not destine for us to walk. As such, we were far more vulnerable and open to attack from Satan (second character in the scenario) and his band of demons.

  • Matthew 7:13-14 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
  • John 10:10 10 The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Christ) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

On his journey to Jericho (the “broad” path that most follow), the man was attacked by robbers (Satan attempts to “destroy” us), who stripped him of his clothes (Satan “steals” from us), and left him for dead, (Satan comes to “kill”).

Then, entering the scene, are the third and fourth characters – a priest and a Levite. Both of these men were devout followers of the old covenant law which failed to acknowledge Christ’s role as the ultimate redeemer. These men tried as best they could to be “religious,” and to keep all of the “rules,” but they lacked compassion and mercy. When they saw the man laying on the side of the road, beaten and bloody, they turned a blind eye and carried on.

It’s difficult to say what went through their minds as they surely contemplated whether or not to stop, but it’s possible that their positions of superiority (the priest was a religious leader, and the Levite was from an Israelite tribe that was set apart by God to perform priestly duties), caused them to look down upon the man as if he were someone not worthy of saving.

The final character introduced in the parable is a Samaritan (a gentile, or non-Israelite), who came upon the beaten man and went immediately to his aid. He not only lifted the man up on to his donkey and took him to an inn where he could care for him, but when he needed to leave the inn the next day, he paid the inn-keeper to continue caring for the man.

Who would have such compassion? Would you? Would I? Christ would! Christ is, and was, the Samaritan. He rescued the man from certain death (just as He rescued us), and He left him in the care of the inn-keeper (just as He left us in the care of a helper, the Holy Spirit).

As I reflect on the lesson told in this parable, I see myself many years ago, a fallen soul rescued by the grace and mercy of Christ, and spiritually healed and transformed. It hasn’t been an easy road since my conversion (John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble…..“), but a life without Christ would be far worse. In Christ I have hope, but without Christ I have nothing.

My obligation now, as a Christian, is to do for others what Christ did for me (and what the Samaritan did for the fallen man). The final verse of Luke 10:30-37 commands us to “go and do likewise.” We should reach out to others, with grace and mercy, and pay forward the act of compassion and gift of salvation that was paid to us. This is the cycle of Godly love that Juan has encouraged us to embrace – a cycle that starts with God doing for us, and ending with us doing for others.

But the time to do so is now!

NOW, is the time – to pay it forward!

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