Luke 10:30 MEANING

Luke 10:30
(30) A certain man went down.--Better, was going down. We enter here upon the first of a series of parables, which differ from those in St. Matthew in having more the character of actual human histories, illustrating a truth, rather than mere similitudes ("parables" in the usual sense of the word) composed for the purpose of illustration. There is obviously no reason why we should not believe them to have been (as in one case the mention of a proper name seems to imply, Lazarus, in Luke 16:20) statements of facts that had actually happened, and which had come under our Lord's observation as He travelled on His work of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.

From Jerusalem to Jericho.--The journey was one of about twenty-one miles, for the most part through a rocky and desert country, with caves that were then haunted by bands of robbers, as they have been, more or less, in later times by predatory Arabs. In Jerome's time it was known as the "red" or the "bloody" way, in consequence of the frequency of such crimes.

Fell among thieves.--Better, robbers, as elsewhere.

Verse 30. - And Jesus answering said. For reply the Master told him and the listening by-standers the parable-story we know so well as the "good Samaritan" - the parable, which has been "the consolation of the wanderer and the sufferer, of the outcast and the heretic, in every age and country" (Stanley). The story was one of those parables especially loved by Luke (and Paul), in which instruction is conveyed, not by types, but by example. It was very probably a simple recital of a fact which had happened, and at some period in the Lord's life had come under his own observation. The local scenery, the characters of the story, would all lead to the supposition that the parable was spoken in or near Jerusalem. A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. We are not told who the traveller was, Jew or Gentile; not a word about his rank, descent, or religion; simply that he was a man, a human being. It seems, however, from the whole tone of the story, most probable that the wounded traveller was a Jew. The way he was travelling was the road leading down from Jerusalem to Jericho, a distance of twenty-one miles - not the only way, but the most direct. It was a rugged, rocky pass, well adapted for the purposes of thieves and desperadoes, and was known, owing to the many dark deeds of which it had been the scene, as "The Way of Blood." The Lord's words tell the story. The traveller, likely enough a Jew pedlar, bad fallen among thieves, who had robbed him, and then had left their victim - dying or dead, what cared they? lying in the pass.

10:25-37 If we speak of eternal life, and the way to it, in a careless manner, we take the name of God in vain. No one will ever love God and his neighbour with any measure of pure, spiritual love, who is not made a partaker of converting grace. But the proud heart of man strives hard against these convictions. Christ gave an instance of a poor Jew in distress, relieved by a good Samaritan. This poor man fell among thieves, who left him about to die of his wounds. He was slighted by those who should have been his friends, and was cared for by a stranger, a Samaritan, of the nation which the Jews most despised and detested, and would have no dealings with. It is lamentable to observe how selfishness governs all ranks; how many excuses men will make to avoid trouble or expense in relieving others. But the true Christian has the law of love written in his heart. The Spirit of Christ dwells in him; Christ's image is renewed in his soul. The parable is a beautiful explanation of the law of loving our neighbour as ourselves, without regard to nation, party, or any other distinction. It also sets forth the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward sinful, miserable men. We were like this poor, distressed traveller. Satan, our enemy, has robbed us, and wounded us: such is the mischief sin has done us. The blessed Jesus had compassion on us. The believer considers that Jesus loved him, and gave his life for him, when an enemy and a rebel; and having shown him mercy, he bids him go and do likewise. It is the duty of us all , in our places, and according to our ability, to succour, help, and relieve all that are in distress and necessity.And Jesus answering, said,.... The following things; which may either be considered as a narrative of matter of fact, or as a supposed case, and delivered by way of parable; and in either way, though the general design of it is in answer to the lawyer's question, to show who may be called a neighbour; and that a man who is a stranger, and accounted an enemy, yet doing acts of mercy, kindness, and beneficence, to one in distress, ought to be accounted a neighbour: and has a much better title to such a character, than one of the same nation and religion, who takes no notice of a distressed object; yet it may be considered, as representing the sad estate and condition of mankind by the fall, and their recovery by Christ; whereby he shows himself to be their best neighbour, and truest friend:

a certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. The distance between these two places, the Jews say (p), was ten "parsas", that is, forty miles; for every "parsa" was four miles, and ten "parsas" are expressly said (q) to be forty miles; which must be understood of the lesser miles, otherwise a parsa itself was but a mile: the Jews had two sorts of miles, the greater was 2000 cubits, the lesser 1000 cubits: the man is said to go down from the one to the other, because Jerusalem stood on high ground, and Jericho in a valley. This "certain man", may represent mankind failing in Adam, from a state of happiness, into misery: human nature was originally in one man, but one man was created at first, and he had all human nature in him, and was the representative of mankind; he was made upright, but sinned, and fell from his uprightness, and all mankind in him: he may be said to go down, from Jerusalem, which signifies peace, and the vision of it; and was a city compact together, beautiful and well situated; where were the worship of God, and his Shekinah, or divine presence; to Jericho, a city accursed by Joshua, and a very wicked place in the days of Christ: since man by sinning against God, departed from his happy and peaceful state, from a state of peace and tranquillity with God, with the holy angels, and even with the beasts of the field; and also from peace and serenity in his own conscience, as well as from communion with God; and from his pure worship and service, to a sensual, earthly, worldly, wicked, and accursed state:

and fell among thieves: in the way to Jericho, was a place called Adomim, which signifies "bloods", because much blood was shed there, by the frequent incursions of thieves and robbers, as Jerom observes (r); and was about four hours journey from Jericho (s): and by the man's falling among thieves, may be expressed mankind coming into the hands of sin and Satan, which are as robbers, that steal, kill, and destroy; since these have robbed man of his honour, defaced the image of God in him, and deprived him of the glory of God, and were murderers of him from the beginning:

which stripped him of his raiment; as thieves and robbers are used to do; signifying the loss of original righteousness, by sin, which was a covering to man, in which he could appear before God; and was very ornamental to him, being pure and perfect in its kind, though only a creature's righteousness, and a created one; and which was natural and loseable, as the event has shown: hence man is become a naked creature, has nothing to cover himself with, but stands exposed to the law, justice, and wrath of God; is destitute of a righteousness, nor can he work out one that will stand him in any stead, or justify him before God:

and wounded him: which is the common usage of such men; and may set forth the morbid and diseased condition that sin has brought man into; being from the crown of the head, to the sole of the foot, full of wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores; and such as are in themselves mortal, and incurable by any, but the great physician of souls, the Lord Jesus Christ; and yet men are naturally insensible of them, and unconcerned about there:

and departed, leaving him half dead; or "near death", as the Arabic version renders it; which may be applied to death natural, spiritual, and eternal: to death natural, which comes by sin, seeing it is but one part, or half of the man that dies this death, namely, his body; and to a spiritual death, or the death of the soul, which is dead in trespasses and sins, whilst the body is alive; and to eternal death, to which men are exposed for sin, and are under the sentence of it, though not executed; and in each of these senses may be said to be "half dead": and which is no ways to the advantage of the doctrine of man's freewill, and the powers and abilities of; as if man was not in a spiritual sense so dead, that he can do nothing in a spiritual manner; but the phrase is used, to show the power of sin, and the malice of Satan, and yet that man is still recoverable by the grace of God.

(p) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 20. 2. & 39. 20. Bartenora in Misn. Tamid, c. 3. sect. 8. (q) T. Bab. Pesachim. fol. 93. 2. & Gloss. in ib. (r) Ad Eustochium, Tom. I. fol. 59. I. K. (s) Masius in Joshua 15.7.

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