These questions are connected to the message, “Who Deserves to be Loved?” from Jan. 23, 2022. You can watch it here.
Dive In: This is a very familiar story for most so it could be particularly helpful to read this passage slowly in an unfamiliar translation of the Bible (e.g. N. T. Wright’s The New Testament for Everyone, Contemporary English Version, Amplified Bible, or The Message).
- Read it again. Where did you automatically see yourself in the story? Were you the one in the ditch, the priest, or Levite, the Samaritan, or the lawyer questioning Jesus? Try reading it (or hearing it read) and place yourself differently each time.
- Was there there anything that stood out to you that you never noticed before?
- What new insights did you glean as Marc expounded on the story in the sermon?
- Have you ever had an experience where you received help — material, emotional, or spiritual — from an unlikely person? How did that make you feel? Discuss how that altered your outlook on that person or perhaps even a group of people.
- Have you ever helped someone who least expected your help? What was their reaction? How did it impact your relationship?
- The lawyer (expert in the Law) wanted a definition of “neighbour.” What was Jesus’ answer or ‘definition’ (vv 36-37)?
- As you reflected on this passage or heard the sermon, did someone come to mind as “in the ditch” and needing your help?
- Donor fatigue is a real thing. Discuss the difficulty or tension between “costly giving” versus never feeling like you’ve ever done enough. Have you experienced “guilting” in a church context before? What is helpful for discerning when and how to give or help?
- In Judaism then and today, there were three categories of Jews in ancient Israel: Priests, Levites, and Israelites. A Jew identified with one of those categories. In naming the first two, Jesus set up the expectation of the third, as we would naturally fill in the blank “Father, Son, and …. (Holy Spirit).” For Jesus to sub in Samaritan for Israelite would have been jolting for the lawyer. What was Jesus trying to do?
- Jesus seems to be unpacking who and how we love. It seems like he’s connecting how we give to who we love. And who we love to how we see. Jesus blows up the lawyer’s label or prejudices about Samaritans — how he saw them. What might be some of our prejudices around groups of people (ethnic, religious, political) that need blowing up? Who might Jesus be calling us to see differently?