Catch up on how things have been since the last time your Impact Group met. Allow anyone new to introduce themselves. Then ask group members to:
Ask for a volunteer to read Luke 10:25-37 to the group, praying a short prayer that – however much they’ve come to know Jesus, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
As the expert in the law asks Jesus ‘who is my neighbour’, he was probably expecting Jesus to say: ‘other Jews like yourself’.
Jesus’ call to ‘love your neighbour’ is so radical, it’s supposed to be a mirror that shows us where we fall short.
The Good Samaritan is probably the best known, most frequently quoted and most appreciated of Jesus’ parables today. The parable is widely valued for the way it portrays sacrificial love – but it is also widely misunderstood. Most people think it’s simply a call to be kind to people who are different from us. It is that – but it’s much more.
We must keep the expert in the law’s original question in view – “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (verse 25). At one level, Jesus’ parable makes it clear that, if God’s standard of neighbourly love for all is that which is shown by the Good Samaritan, none of us can match it. We are all in desperate need of help ourselves.
Yet the parable also pictures the life to which Jesus calls those who’ve received eternal life in him. We are to ‘go and do likewise’ – to give ourselves to sacrificial neighbourly love that will require our time, energy and resources… and to offer it to everyone, without distinction.
Here’s how one theologian, Terry Johnson, puts it:
“Whom would God have me love today? Whom would he have me serve? Answer: anyone with whom I come into contact. Why should I? Not in order to be saved, but because I am saved. The Good Samaritan points me to both the way to life (not through law but by faith in Christ) and a way of life (the life of love for all).”
Just like the Good Samaritan, Jesus tenderly loves us in our helplessness, need, and mess, at great cost to himself. So much so that he died for us.
Some of us are tempted to be proud of what ‘good people’ we are. Others of us might be crushed by how messed up we feel.
Spend some time thanking Jesus that you don’t need to justify yourselves, but can receive his love and forgiveness.
Our own love for others springs from a place of thankfulness for the love we have been shown by Jesus. This is a love that is supposed to be shown in both word and deed.
Draw the table below, and write some ideas:
|As a group
Commit to one idea each and spend some time praying for the real-life neighbours that God has placed in your life.
Thank You – Thank everyone for coming, and ask someone to thank God for your time together in prayer.
Ask – Ask those who are new to reading the Bible if they’d like to explore Uncover, a set of sessions in Mark’s Gospel, allowing them to investigate one of the earliest accounts of Jesus’ life alongside one of you.
Church and CU – What does the CU have planned ahead? And what help would group members value in finding a local church?
Others – Who else could you invite to join your CU Impact Group next week? These friends don’t need to be followers of Jesus and may really appreciate being invited.
See You Soon – Tell the group where and when you’ll meet next week, and arrange who will bring snacks. (You might like to alternate healthy and less healthy weeks!). See if anyone would be up for sharing a meal or just hanging out in the meantime!
Can we set cookies? We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set analytics cookies that help us make improvements by measuring how you use the site. More about cookies.
By clicking the Accept button below you are giving your consent for us to set cookies.