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Jul 07, 2019

The Exalted Life Stoops: Compassion & Mercy

The Exalted Life Stoops: Compassion & Mercy

Passage: Luke 10:25-37

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: The Stories In-Between: Parables

Keywords: jesus, compassion, mercy, story, kingdom, parables, grace mills river

It may be the most familiar parable of Jesus. How do we hear this story of mercy--mercy from a most unexpected source--so that our familiarity doesn’t diminish its poignancy to us? Jesus confronts both prejudice and callousness while underscoring the centrality of mercy in the life that lasts.

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: Galatians 5:13
Call To Worship: from Psalm 145
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 49:8-13
Sermon Title: The Exalted Life Stoops
Central Text: Luke 10:25-37
Response: Baptism
Benediction: 2 Corinthians 13:14
Post-Service Text: Galatians 6:2

07.07.19 Sermon Notes


Stranger Than Fiction - A Gollum

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: Galatians 5:13
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for
the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Call To Worship: from Psalm 145
LEADER: I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.

PEOPLE: Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.

LEADER: Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.

PEOPLE: The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

ALL: The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 49:8-13
8 Thus says the Lord:
“In a time of favor I have answered you;
in a day of salvation I have helped you;
I will keep you and give you
as a covenant to the people,
to establish the land,
to apportion the desolate heritages,
9 saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’
to those who are in darkness, ‘Appear.’
They shall feed along the ways;
on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
and by springs of water will guide them.

11 And I will make all my mountains a road,
and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Behold, these shall come from afar,
and behold, these from the north and from the west,
and these from the land of Syene.”
13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted.

Central Text: Luke 10:25-37
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 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.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

Luke 10:29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Benediction: 2 Corinthians 13:14
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Post-Service Text: Galatians 6:2
2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Related Scriptures

  • Leviticus 19:18, 33-34
  • Deuteronomy 6:5
  • Psalm 118:22
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-30
  • Daniel 12:1-5
  • Micah 6:8
  • Matthew 10:5ff
  • Luke 9:51-56
  • John 4:1-22
  • Galatians 5:13-15

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. When is a time you’ve been in dire need of compassion? Did someone come to your aid? If so, what kind of aid did they provide? What did it require of them? How did you feel?
  2. When the opportunity to show mercy arises, what if any misgivings or apprehensions do you have? What might be behind them? 
  3. Why do you think Jesus makes a Samaritan the “hero” of this parable? (cf. John 4, Luke 9:51-56; 17:11-16)
  4. Jesus points us to an ethic of compassion. But what does His cross say about our need for His compassion? How might that demonstration of compassion answer your apprehensions with something other than a mere “shame on you for not caring”?


  • For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galilaeans [Christians] support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us. - Letter to Arsacius, High-priest of Galatia from Roman Emperor Julian [“the Apostate”] (d. 363AD)
  • The story of the “good Samaritan,”. . .is. . .not just an illustration but a vehicle for a resistant conscience to experience what it doesn’t want to acknowledge: compassion for the ‘outsider’ whom culture compelled to be ignored. . . .We can’t have ethics or morality or justice without stories, without the Story.- Russell Moore
  • There is power in proximity. - Bryan Stevenson
  • To love another person is to see the face of God. - Jean Valjean in Les Misérables
  • One does not have a neighbor.  I make myself someone’s neighbor. - Paul Ricoeur
  • . . .whoever be the man that is presented to you as needing your assistance, you have no ground for declining to give it to him. Say he is a stranger. The Lord has given him a mark which ought to be familiar to you: for which reason he forbids you to despise your own flesh, (Gal. 6:10). Say he is mean and of no consideration. The Lord points him out as one whom he has distinguished by the lustre of his own image, (Isaiah 58:7). Say that you are bound to him by no ties of duty. The Lord has substituted him as it were into his own place, that in him you may recognize the many great obligations under which the Lord has laid you to himself. Say that he is unworthy of your least exertion on his account; but the image of God, by which he is recommended to you, is worthy of yourself and all your exertions. But if he not only merits no good, but has provoked you by injury and mischief, still this is no good reason why you should not embrace him in love, and visit him with offices of love. He has deserved very differently from me, you will say. But what has the Lord deserved?  . . . . look to the image of God in them, an image which, covering and obliterating their faults, should by its beauty and dignity allure us to love and embrace them. - Calvin’s Institutes, 3.7.7
  • I realised that I do what I do because I'm broken. And these are my people – the community of the broken.- Bryan Stevenson
  • For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:11; 18:14; cf. James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6)


Related Media

Dina Roe Kendall, "The Good Samaritan”