The Bible

Luke 10:25-37 : The Good Samaritan

Study the Inner Meaning

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, 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.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 1017, 2371, 4314, 6377, 6708, 7463, 9050, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 32, 316, 681

Conjugial Love 315

Divine Providence 324

Doctrine of Life 2

True Christian Religion 287, 293, 297, 378, 410, 411, 697, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 87


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 186, 375, 376, 444, 458, 584, 622, ...

Charity 50

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Leviticus 19:18

Deuteronomy 6:5, 30:20

2 Kings 23:25

Psalms 147:3

Proverbs 19:16

Isaiah 1:6, 8:20

Word/Phrase Explanations

inherit
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

eternal
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...

life
According to Swedenborg, the Lord is life itself, and we are recipients of life. This is true even of the most evil spirits, who loved...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

written
If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

the law
Jews at the time of Jesus had a number of ways to break down and describe the books of the Old Testament. Among the more...

love
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

Strength
Strength' relates truth and falsity. Strength,' as in Luke 10:27, signifies the will and understanding extended to extremes. Strength,' as in Revelation 1:6, signifies divine...

Justify
'To justify,' as in Isaiah 5:3, 11, signifies saving by means of divine good.

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

Jericho
Jericho' signifies instruction and also the good of life because no one can be instructed in the truths of doctrine but he who is in...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

Stripped
As in Micah 1:8, 'to be stripped' signifies being without goods, and 'to be naked' signifies being without truths.

Raiment
Soft raiment,' as in Matthew 11:9, represents the internal sense of the Word.

Half
Half and double in reference to numbers in the world have a similar signification as the numbers themselves.

Dead
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

way
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Passed
'Passed' or 'expired' denotes the conclusion of whatever state is being discussed.

other side
Generally when things in the Bible are described as having two sides – especially when the two sides are equal – it has to do...

Side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

Place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

Samaritan
'The Samaritans,' in Luke 10, means the Gentiles in charity towards their neighbors. 'The Samaritans' signify the Gentiles or nations which would receive doctrine from...

Bound
Being bound, as in Genesis 42:16, denotes to be separated, for he who is kept b. is separated, viz., from the spiritual good, which is...

oil
Oil – typically olive oil – was an extremely important product in Biblical times, for food preparation, medicinal ointment and for burning in lamps. As...

wine
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

beast
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

Inn
An inn' signifies a place of instruction. An inn' signifies the exterior natural level in general. This cannot be confirmed from parallel passages in the...

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

host
A host and an army come from the same Hebrew word and mean the same thing in Bible; when the Children of Israel were numbered...

come
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Repay
'To repay' denotes making amends by truth.

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

mercy
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 A Golden Heart
Make a golden heart to illustrate the beautiful heart of a person who is kind to others. 
Project | Ages up to 10

 Being a True Friend and Neighbor
If we want to be good friends, we must listen and look for the times when our friends really need us. We mustn’t just use our friends for what we can get out of them, and then leave them alone when they are in trouble.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Be Like the Good Samaritan
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Compassion
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Dramatize the Story of the Good Samaritan
Dramatize the parable of the Good Samaritan with this simple retelling of the story, 5 characters, and suggested props.
Activity | Ages up to 10

 For Discussion: Wine and Oil
Discuss ways that the "wine" in the parable of the Good Samaritan is like true ideas and the "oil" is like kindness. When might it be helpful to offer this kind of wine and oil to others?
Activity | Ages 7 - 17

 Go and Do Likewise
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 How Am I Saved?
The Lord wants to save all people but gives people the freedom to reject His love and choose the selfishness of hell instead, if they wish to.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Imagine the Lord's Joy!
 Picture the Lord's joy each time we take a step toward heaven. 
Activity | Ages over 15

 In His Name
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Keeping in a State of Hope
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Mary and Martha
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Overview of Hands of Love Levels A B C for ages 3-14
Overview of the Youth Journey Program Hands of Love Inherit the Kingdom, Levels A, B and C, for ages 3-14 for Sunday schools, camps, classrooms and families.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 14

 Picture the Samaritan Helping a Stranger
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Play: The Good Samaritan
A script for dramatizing the parable.
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Qualities of Friendship
The Bible says we are to love the Lord and our neighbors, to value others lives more than our own life. Doing this depends on healthy relationships. Discover New Church teachings on healthy friendship.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Quotes: Being a Good Neighbor
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Samaritan Is Good Neighbor
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Sending Out the Seventy
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Serving The Needs Of Others
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Good Samaritan
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 The Good Samaritan
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Good Samaritan
We might never be on that road from Jerusalem to Jericho, but we will meet people in need of help. What will you do when you see someone in need of help at school, at home or in the neighborhood? Will you pass by on the other side or be like the good Samaritan? Sample from the Jacob's Ladder Program, Level 3, for ages 8-9.
Religion Lesson | Ages 8 - 9

 The Good Samaritan
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 The Good Samaritan
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Good Samaritan
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Oil of Human Kindness
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Value of Work
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Who Is My Neighbor?
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Why Did God Create Me?
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Why Two by Two?
Why did the Lord tell His disciples to go out in twos? What are some of the advantages to having friends support us in challenging situations?
Activity | Ages over 15

Commentary

How Shall I Inherit Eternal Life?

By Rev. James P. Cooper

This series illustrates the Good Samaritan parable.

There are two places in the New Testament where people - not disciples - approach the Lord and ask Him straight out, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"

One occurs in the Gospel of Luke:

"And behold, a certain laywer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (Luke 10:25).

The other occurs in the Gospel of Mark:

"Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:17).

Jesus answers these two people with answers that are quite famous. In his answer to the lawyer, he said:

1. Love the Lord
2. Love your neighbor
3. And just in case you don't know who your neighbor is, here's the parable of the "Good Samaritan."

In his answer to the rich young man, he said:

1. Love the Lord.
2. Love the neighbor (but with a little more detail)
3. Follow the commandments
4. Then shun worldly things.
5. Be kind to others
6. And, most importantly, do this because of Me.

Taken together, these two incidents lay out four principles of life in the world that, if followed, will prepare us for eternal life in heaven.

The first principle: Believe that the Lord is God.

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:14-17).

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:66-69).

"The Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, came into the world to subjugate the hells and to glorify His Human; and without this no mortal could have been saved; and those are saved who believe in Him." (True Christian Religion 2).

The second principle: Stop focusing on the things of the natural world; stop allowing your hereditary evils and your proprium to lead you.

"So Jesus answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time; houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.' " (Mark 10:29-30).

Anyone unacquainted with the internal sense of the Word will think that house , brothers , sisters , father , mother , wife , children , and fields mean house, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, and fields. But the meaning here is this The kinds of things present in a person which are properly his own must be forsaken by him, and instead of these, spiritual and celestial things which are the Lord s must be received by him. This change is effected by means of temptations, which are meant here by persecutions'. Anyone can see that if he forsakes his mother he is not going to receive mothers, nor likewise to receive brothers and sisters by forsaking these. (Arcana Coelestia 4843).

In Luke, Jesus said to the young ruler, You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, then you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. In the internal sense these words mean that everything completely a person's own, which consists of nothing but evil desires and false ideas, ought to be alienated from him, for such desires and ideas are meant by 'all that he has', and then he will receive from the Lord good desires and true ideas, which are 'treasure in heaven'. Arcana Coelestia 5886 [5].

The Third Principle: Do good works, be kind to each other.

(Luke 10:25-29) "And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" So he answered and said, " You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. " And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live." But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

To answer this key question, the Lord told the parable of the good Samaritan.

Your neighbor is not someone of your family, town, or race. Everyone is your neighbor and deserving of your care.

God does good in the world through us! Our care for the neighbor is HIS care for the neighbor. Just as He uses us to create new angels, He uses us to do good in the world.

The Fourth Principle: Take up the cross and follow Him, that is, endure in temptations, and do this things not for yourself, but because He has asked it of you.

(Matthew 25:34-46) "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? And the King will answer and say to them, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. If you do these things, the reward will be great."

Just four principles.


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