Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 10:25-42 we have two matters: the Man-Savior portraying Himself as the good Samaritan with the highest morality (vv. 25-37) and His being received by Martha at Bethany (vv. 38-42). It is significant that Luke put these two matters together. Apparently they are not related; actually, in our Christian experience, the Lord as the good Samaritan is related to His being received by Martha. In this message we shall consider the portrait of the Lord as the good Samaritan with the highest morality, and in the following message we shall consider His being received by Martha at Bethany.
We have seen that in 9:51-56 it was necessary for the Lord Jesus and His followers to pass through Samaria. The Samaritans, however, did not receive Him (9:53). Now in 10:25-37 the Lord portrays Himself as a Samaritan.
In the parable of the good Samaritan many things are covered. This parable refers to Judaism, the Old Testament, the law, the priests, the Levites, Christ, the Spirit, the divine life, the church, the way to bring people to the church, the blessing the Lord gives to the church, the Lord’s coming back, and the Lord’s reward to the church.
Samaria was the leading region of the northern kingdom of Israel and the place where its capital was (1 Kings 16:24, 29). Before 700 B.C. the Assyrians captured Samaria and brought people from Babylon and other heathen countries to the cities of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6, 24). From that time, the Samaritans became people of mixed blood— heathen with Jew. History tells us that they had the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses) and worshipped God according to that part of the Old Testament. But they were never recognized by the Jews as part of the Jewish people.
In John 8:48 certain Jews said to the Lord, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Here in Luke 10 the Lord refers to Himself in a positive way as a Samaritan. The Lord seems to be saying, “I am a Samaritan, one despised by you.”
Luke 10:25 says that “a certain lawyer stood up and put Him to the test.” A lawyer was an expert in the Mosaic law. Such a lawyer was a scribe among the Pharisees. This lawyer, one very knowledgeable in the law, was also proud. Being one who justified himself, he stood up to test the Man-Savior.
In testing the Man-Savior, this lawyer said to Him, “Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” To inherit eternal life is to be rewarded in the coming age (Luke 18:29-30) with the enjoyment of the divine life in the manifestation of the kingdom.
To inherit eternal life is also “to enter into life” (Matt. 19:17). To enter into life is to enter into the kingdom of the heavens (Matt. 19:23). The kingdom of the heavens is a realm of God’s eternal life. Hence, when we enter into it, we enter into God’s life. This differs from being saved. To be saved is to have God’s life enter into us, whereas to enter into the kingdom of the heavens is to enter into God’s life. The former is to be redeemed and regenerated with God’s life; the latter is to live and walk by God’s life. The one is a matter of birth; the other is a matter of living.
According to the New Testament, to receive eternal life is one thing, and to inherit eternal life is another thing. To receive eternal life is for our salvation in this age, but to inherit eternal life is a reward in the coming age, that is, in the coming kingdom. It is important, therefore, that we differentiate these matters concerning our experience of eternal life. Now, in this present age, we may receive eternal life and experience it. This is a matter of salvation. But inheriting eternal life will be a blessing given to us as a reward in the coming age of the kingdom. Thus, inheriting eternal life is not a matter of salvation; instead, it is a matter related to the kingdom reward.
When the scribe asked the Man-Savior about what he should do to inherit eternal life, the Lord said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” (v. 26). The lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole strength, and with your whole mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (v. 27). To this the Lord replied, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you shall live” (v. 28).
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