Join us for a study on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-35).

The purpose of the parable deals with the importance of loving others without excuses. Indeed, what lays before us is to turn the truth of God’s Word into practice in order to love and heal one another. Also, another powerful parable to learn is the Parable of the Wineskins.

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Outline

And a lawyer (an expert in the Mosiac law) stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live (meaning… you are living).”  But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho,

A and he fell among robbers,                                                                         COME

who stripped him and beat him                                                                     DO

and departed, leaving him half dead.                                                           GO

B 31 Now by chance a Priest was going down that road,                         COME

and when he saw him                                                                                     DO

he passed by on the other side.                                                                    GO

C 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place                               COME

(meaning…walked over) and saw him,                                                         DO

passed by on the other side.                                                                         GO

D 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was,            COME

                  and when he saw him,                                                                  DO

he had compassion.                                                                                        DO

C 34 He went to him                                                                                       COME

                 and bound up his wounds,                                                           DO

pouring on oil and wine.                                                                                DO

B Then he set him on his own animal                                                         DO

and brought him to an inn                                                                            DO

and took care of him.                                                                                     DO

A 35 And the next day he took out two denarii                                         DO

         and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him,          DO

and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’    DO

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Good Communication

Look at Jesus, the great communicator ! He poses questions; not accusations. The bible shows us communicating “well” is important and vital in our relationships to one another.

First Dialogue:

Question 1) Lawyer: What must I do to inherit eternal life? v25

Question 2) Jesus: What is written in the law? How does it read to you? v26

Question 2 – Answered) Lawyer: Love God… love your neighbor.  v27

Question 1 – Answered) Jesus: Do this and you will live. v28

Second Dialogue:

Question 1) Lawyer: But who Is my neighbor? v29

Jesus, share the parable story.

Question 2) Jesus: Which of the three became a neighbor? v36

Question 2 – Answered) Lawyer: The one who showed mercy toward him. v37a

Question 1 – Answered) Jesus: Go and do the same.  v37b

Both the first and second dialogue end with a command to “do” something.

Key verse (28): And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

When you look at verse 28 and the context; notice, eternal life is connected to loving your neighbor. Observe, I did not say, “gives you eternal life”. This parable is not about good works; it is about the “disconnectedness” to the heart of God in and for the love and concern for others.

Notice, the first three characters or role players we have in this parable: Lawyer, Priest, and Levite. These are people involved in the “work of God.” Indeed, these are people serving God.

Each of them comes, does something, and leaves. The change-over occurs or the pattern is broken by the Samaritan at the Center (verse 33). From then on, each line describes an action (seven in all) on the part of the Samaritan in service to the wounded man.

Parable of the Good Samaritan | History

There is an actual road through the desert going from Jerusalem to Jericho, It is 17 miles long and has a history of being dangerous.


The term “half dead” in verse 30 means “at the point of death.” Basically, this man is unconscious and not able at all to help himself. Sometimes in life, people cannot help themselves. They are going through a rough time and really need our love and support “here and now.”

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Priest

The Priest: (verse 31)

We can safely say, the “Priest” was riding an animal. They were among the upper class of their society. Nobody of the more upper class would walk a 17-mile trek. The poor walk, but not the more noble. In general, most always ride. Even the Samaritan is riding. We know this since the story tells us at the end. And the way the story is purposely structured, it shows that what the Samaritan did; the Priest could have done as well in terms of putting the man on his riding animal.

Life for the Priest:

Life for the Priest became an inflexible wineskin. This type of walk with God claims to offer the security of having answers to life’s problems and questions, but when they minister to people they cannot connect with the person. In the inflexible wineskin, God cannot get our attention to the one in need. What is absent is a relationship to God and man; “that actual love one another thing!”

Actions of the Priest:

The Priest observes, but cannot come closer than 6 feet to a dead person without being defiled. He sees the man. In fact, he does stop and come near. He can do something, but does nothing and leaves him as is. How often in church when people are within our reach; we observe, say hello, and “do” nothing? This is not the will of God or the gospel of the Kingdom. Thus, the “life” of the priest became more important than the “actions” of the priest.

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Levite

The Levite: (verse 32)

Similar to the Priest, the Levite contributes or adds to the wounded man’s sufferings by neglect. If we think about the roles of the Priest and Levite, they both served in the Temple. If the Priest finished his service and now had travelled on the road to Jericho it is safe to say the Levite is not far behind. In fact, he knows the Priest is ahead of him on the road.

Life for the Levite:

The Levite is of a different social status, he is more than likely walking. And since he knew the Priest was ahead of him and did nothing; the Levite figured or probably thought to himself: “hey, if the Priest did nothing, I am under no obligation to do anything.” Specifically, “why should I do anything?”

Actions of the Levite:

The distinction here is the Levite came very close to the man. In the original language verse 32 says, “Came, walked over and looked at him”. This makes a lot of sense since the Levite is not restricted by as many regulations as the Priest.

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Overview


Both men knew they could have done something, but chose to do nothing. I mean they could have put a blanket or shawl on him. At the very least, the Priest and Levite could have seen if they can converse with the man. We may not be able to “do” all things or everything for the lost, hurting, broken, and needy, but surely, we should be doing something.

However, the key factor is what you “model” others follow. The Priest did not model compassion and care. Thus, the Levite did the same. What we as believers do not model, people will not follow. There is no reason to expect it. Sadly, though they are supposed to be working for the same cause, they are not living for the same cause. Finally, notice the Priest and Levite do not work together. Thankfully, Jesus taught us to work together. He sends them out “two by two” in the gospels. In the Acts of the Apostles, we see teams of two: Peter and John; Barnabas and Paul, Priscilla and Aquilla, etc.

And my question to you today is, does God have your attention?

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Steps of Faith

The Samaritan: (verse 33-34a and 34b-35)

At this point in the story, we might expect an Israelite layman to enter the scene. But Jesus mentions a Samaritan. Although the Samaritan has more to risk than the Priest and Levite; the Samaritan cuts across all barriers. Keep in mind, the Samaritan is not a gentile. He is also bound to Torah (in this case, the first five books of the Old Testament).

The Steps of Faith (Risks) he takes (4 of them):

  1. The presence of a Samaritan in Judea was not welcomed by some.
  2. He too risks contamination or uncleanness from a dead body.
  3. He is on the same road as the Priest and Levite. Robbers may not take advantage of the Priest or the Levite knowing they are religious leaders, but they will have no problem attacking the Samaritan.
  4. There may be possible retaliation from family or friends with some thinking or believing he is the one who assaulted the man on the road, especially if the man who was robbed and left half dead was of Jewish descent.

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Acts of Compassion

The Acts of Compassion he takes (4 of them):

  1. The Samaritan takes the time to clean and soften the man’s wounds with oil. He also disinfects them with wine. Then, he wraps and binds them up. Keep in mind, the oil and wine were also “sacrificial elements in the temple worship”, which indicates both the Priest and Levite were carrying those items and could have used them for the man. Their excuse is more than invalid.
  2. The Samaritan puts the man on his (own) riding animal.
  3. He leads him to an inn and takes further care of him. In fact, the Samaritan spends the night with him. Verse 35 states, “And the next day.” More importantly, he is no longer a stranger to the man. There is a personal connection.
  4. Notice, the Samaritan promises to return. Why? How can the man pay the hotel bill? What about food? The man lost his money. If the man does not pay the bill, when he leaves he can possibly be arrested for the debt. Here is the point. Observe, the price the Samaritan is willing to pay to complete his act of compassion.

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Summary

The Robbers Priest/Levite The Samaritan
Rob him. Rob him (opportunity). Pays for him.
Leave him dying. Leave him dying. Stays with him. (brings healing)
Abandon him. Abandon him. Promises to return.


The lone Samaritan must make up for the actions of everyone else. The Levite could have at least rendered first aid; on the contrary it is the first thing the Samaritan does. He binds his wounds with oil and wine. The Priest in verse 31 was certainly riding and could have taken the man to safety on his animal. But the Samaritan puts the guy on his animal. Now, let’s take a look the robbers. The robbers take his money, leave him half dead with no intention of returning. The Samaritan pays from his own pocket, leaves with him being provided/taken care of and the promise to return and “pay more” or “help more” if necessary.

The parable could have ended with the wounded man being brought to safety. But no, Jesus shows the lawyer at the beginning of the story, not only did the Samaritan make up for the negligence and lack of compassion from the Levite and Priest; he goes beyond that and compensates for the robbers. Therefore, he heals all the brokenness.

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Application

The Message. For the Christian, we must understand the message. Like the Priest and Levite, we cannot “come by” view the person or people and have the opportunity to “do” something, but then “go” having done nothing. Think about it, even if you “do” nothing, you are doing something. It does not fit as Jesus describes in terms of loving your neighbor.

The Ambassador. The Priest and Levite leave the man in the same state they saw him. Consider the big picture. The religious representatives of Judaism are expected to be models of “neighbor” to the wounded and broken. However, look at the outcome. You and I are “the ambassador”; not figureheads. We cannot leave people in the same state or condition they are in. There is a reason God has given us the Holy Spirit to minister in power as God’s ambassador. If we are not doing that, then shame on you and I. This is what Jesus is trying to convey to the lawyer in this parable.

Parable of the Good Samaritan | Conclusion

Observe in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the Priest and Levite are coming from Jerusalem down to Jericho. This means they finished their work for God at the temple. We must not only minster before people on Sunday at church as God would use us in our various giftings, but we must take time with the same people we ministered toward and develop a relational love with one another. This entails spending time with them face to face, a fellowship with sharing our victories along with weaknesses and struggles and then through the Holy Spirit: build, edify and bring healing and growth through mutual love for one another.