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.
If you’re not gathered in person, the leader should project the video for the group through sharing their screen. If you’re using Zoom, make sure you have optimized your screen share for video.
Suggested questions to help your discussion.
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 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).”
Like the man left for dead at the side of the road, we have been shown lavish love by Jesus, the ultimate Good Samaritan. Our own love for others springs from a place of thankfulness for the love we have been shown. This is a love that is supposed to be shown in both word and deed.
Pray that God would reveal more of his love to you, and that you’d be given a deeper awareness of how you can respond in love to others – including sharing ultimate hope in Jesus. You might also like to share any requests for personal prayer at this point.
You may have people in your Impact Group who’ve been surprised that the Parable of the Good Samaritan isn’t just a call to kindness.
Confirm the time that you’ll meet next week, and ask someone to close your time together in prayer.
Taking it further – links you might like to share with your Impact Group
Tim Keller asks whether we ought to think of the church’s mission as sharing the gospel, serving others in love – or both (3 minutes)
The Bible Society used actors on the streets of Reading to see whether people would be more likely to offer compassion to a needy vicar or homeless person (3 minutes)
Use Jason Morant’s Love Song to revel afresh in the love of God which meets us in all our need.
Read of how the Lebanese CU movement is serving the 100,000 or so Syrian immigrants who have been displayed by war, motivated by Jesus’ love for them.
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