On the Jericho Road:

The Allegory of the Good Samaritan

Dedicated to Pete S. Snyder, Age 49

 

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The Lost Tribes of Israel Found in the Parables of Yahshua

 

INDEX:

The Parables of the Good Shepherd and The Pearl of Great Price & The Allegory of the Prodigal Son

On the Jericho Road: The Allegory of the Good Samaritan

Out of the Napkin, Into the World: The Allegory of the Ten Pounds and the Lost Tribes of Israel

Resurrection - Riddle and Reward: The Sadducees' Riddle , The Allegory of the Wise Steward

Everlasting Skins: The Allegory of the Unrighteous Steward, The Widow’s Two Mites

Myths and Meaning: The Rich Man and Lazarus: Dives in Hell

Naming Ten Virgins or The Five Dumb Virgins (A Message from the NT Apocrypha)

Other Lost Tribes Messages:

The Woman at the Well and the Lost Tribes of Israel: "I'll Never Be Thirsty Again!"

 

Messianic friends, please note: This message is written for Christians just learning Hebraic Roots, including Divine Name language.  However, this does not mean that it is an elementary message, but full of deeper truth.

 

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Luke 10:25.  And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  26.  Yahshua said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?”  27.  And the Lawyer answered, “You shall love YHWH your Elohim 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 Yahshua said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”  29.  But he, desiring to justify himself, said, “And who is my neighbor?”

   30.  Yahshua 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.  and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  35.  And the next day he took out two coins 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 neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”  37.  The lawyer said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Yahshua said to him, “Go and do likewise.” 

 

Great Affect on Humanity

   The Allegory of the Good Samaritan has probably had more effect on humanity than any other story.  It can be understood just as it stands, even if we don’t know the players.  What anyone can discern is that, while some pass the mugging victim by, one man stops to save his life. 

   We also perceive the Samaritan’s bent toward goodness.  His willingness to do the right thing is as natural as throwing a log on the fire or holding open the church door for your neighbor.   On the other hand, those who pass by claim the moral high ground, but they just don’t do anything of moral value.  In fact, the one who does the good, this Samaritan, is considered by the others to be no good whatsoever. 

   So already, we’ve cracked the literal meaning and learned a valuable lesson in neighborly hospitality.  ¿Isn’t this simple to understand?  Sure. But it’s much harder to actually play out the story – to extend the metaphor to our own church, to our own neighbors – to subordinate our time and materials to the higher will of Yahweh rather than just use the letter of the law to get by – to use our resources to save lives rather than to erect monuments dedicated to the past. 

   Let us pray:

   “Father, like the Samaritan, let us be mission-minded rather than maintenance-minded, lest we be judged unworthy.  Amen.

 

A Lawyer

   Our first character is a lawyer.  His kind of law is religious law – the first five books of the Bible – plus the Oral Law that Yahshua calls “Traditions of Men.”  He comes out of the multitude to test Yahshua then best him.  He calls Yahshua Rabbi, a teacher of the same law the lawyer practices – so we have the expert testing (or should we say, tempting) the teacher, for the lawyer inquires about eternal life, a subject not mentioned in the law at all.  Yet the lawyer’s trying to get Yahshua to say that eternal life, if it exists, is a matter of inheritance or birthright – as though some race had a corner on it.

   Yahshua answers hard questions with questions.  He knows eternal life isn’t mentioned in the law, so he volleys the lawyer’s question right back, “You’re the lawyer, what does the law say on this subject?”  The lawyer quotes the law:

Deuteronomy 6:4.  “You shall love Yahweh your g-d with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”

   Here, the law goes on to say that

Deuteronomy 6:6.  “These words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; 7. you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, when you rise up.”

This “law” describes the mangled man in the story – walking by the way, lying down, rising.  Had we as children been taught this course of instruction, and had we relayed it to our children and children’s children, we might’ve avoided many muggings and thefts. 

   But the lawyer isn’t finished.  He quotes Leviticus 19:18 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself for I am Yahweh.”   We’ve heard this summation of the law before – from the lips of Yahshua earlier – when a different lawyer asked him in

Matthew 22:36.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

And we thought Yahshua was making up some new commandments when he answered,  

Matthew 22:37-40.  “‘You shall love Yahweh your g-d with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”  

Like our lawyer, Yahshua is simply quoting what Yahweh’d already commanded centuries before.  Nobody’s saying anything new – only reinforcing what’d been commanded all along.  Yahshua says, “So counselor, it seems you’ve answered your own question.”  But Yahshua doesn’t promise the lawyer eternal life; only life.  Indeed, the lawyer is alive – at least for the moment.  As we learned this week, this life can be snuffed out without any warning; even the good die young.  This lawyer has the opportunity NOW to believe and be saved – or save judgment for later.

 

Who Is NOT My Neighbor?

   But now the lawyer slips up; he forgets Deuteronomy 6:16.”You shall not put Yahweh your g-d to the test.”  “Just who is my neighbor?” he blurts out to save face.  These Jews didn’t have the same neighborly hospitality as us Southerners.  We think of our neighbor as someone next door, or in the community, or someone we see in church.  Though the lawyer has a similar idea, he also knows who his neighbor definitely isn’t.  He remembers

Deuteronomy 15:2,3. “Every creditor will dissolve his neighbor’s debts [but] of a foreigner you may demand payment.”

The lawyer does not include foreigners in his definition of neighbor, even if one lives next door.  And to him, a foreigner is anyone who isn’t a Jew!  This lawyer is a racist who uses the Bible to justify his sin.  This is hardly uncommon today.  Many a Nazi uses a Bible to justify his hatred in the twenty-first century (as well as the twentieth). 

   Yahshua judges this lawyer compassionately: he knows the law better because he had his finger in the stone tablet!  His judgment comes by means of a story about the type of person the lawyer would hate – a Samaritan.  A good place for us to start is in asking, “What’s a Samaritan?” 

 

Samaritans

   Go back seven hundred years (721 BC) when the king of Assyria (Shalmaneser) conquered Israel (the northern kingdom).  2 Kings 17 tells us that the Israelites were deported and replaced by foreigners: superstitious heathens from all over Asia.  They had no taste for Yahweh, but the local mountain lions had a great taste for them.  Lions visited their settlements in large packs for fine dining.  The people planted in Israel feared that the Israelite god was using the lions for revenge, so they called on King Shalmaneser, and he sent them a corrupt priest from among the captives to try to placate Yahweh.  So in Israel there developed a “mongrelized people” known as Samarkans who worshiped false gods and practiced a strange form of Judaism at the same time.  Later, the religion of the “Samaritans” became official – they built a temple to Yahweh on Mount Gerazim in the province of Ephraim, considered themselves Israelites, kept Torah, believed in the day of judgment, and awaited the Messiah (Moses).  They weren’t far from the truth at all! 

   Because of their origin in Asia, Samaritans were still considered foreigners, thus inferior and unclean.  If a Samaritan was caught walking the Jericho Road in Judea, he was likely to be robbed.  If a Jew was caught at a well in Samaria, he was likely to end up dead.  However, there’d always been a tiny remnant of Israelites left in Samaria, and some Israelite blood mingled with that of the “foreigners.” 

   Do you remember the woman at the well in Samaria (John 4)?  She said Jacob was her ancestor – she was of the lost tribe of Ephraim (maybe).  How about the lady Anna who prophesied when Yahshua was born?  She was of the “lost” tribe of Asher.  There were members of the “lost tribes” thereabouts, especially in Samaria.  But when Yahshua first sends his disciples out, he tells them not to go into Samaria.  And in the previous chapter (Luke 9), the Samaritans don’t allow Yahshua to stay there. 

   But soon, there’s a revival in Samaria; Acts tells us that the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit and fire.  Would you believe there’s still a remnant of Samaritans yet today, living in the same place as Yahshua visited two thousand years ago?    Yes, there are – and they’re not Muslims! 

   Still, in those days, Samaritans weren’t considered neighbors, but unclean foreigners.  (A great essay on Samaritans.)

 

The Story

   So here’s this lone Samaritan walking in a very dangerous place – in Judea –on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho – a treacherous twelve-mile stretch.  Muggers left a “half-dead man,” robbed and stripped, in the road.  The Levites who walked this road were the epitome of morality – they spent their whole lives in service to Yahweh and the temple.  They were like rich, powerful gods who could do no wrong.  But the Levites on the Jericho Road today know that if they come in the vicinity of a corpse, they’ll be unclean and can’t go home.  Assuming the man in the road could die at any time, they pass by on the other side (Leviticus 22:4).  They use the law as an EXCUSE to go about their own business and leave a neighbor to die.

   The Samaritan was in the same dilemma as the Levites – he could be inconvenienced if he became ritually unclean or got a little bloody or spent money and time.  {Slow down the rest of the paragraph.} But for him, racism, ritual purity and financial considerations took a back seat to COMPASSION.  The Samaritan followed a higher layer of the law – he cared.  Like his blood, compassion is a mixture – a mixture of pity and action – a love that works.  The Samaritan considers the unclean, bloodied man as his neighbor – touches the corpse, pours oil and wine into the wounds, picks up the wretched man, sets him on his animal and checks him into an inn, paying for the room and care in advance, promising to pay more when he returns.

 

The Lawyer’s Justification

   With the story at an end, Yahshua asks the lawyer (who is himself a Levite), “Now who do you think was this man’s neighbor?”  The lawyer says, “I suppose the one who showed mercy.”  Even this was a stretch for this legalistic racist to say.  He can’t even utter the word “Samaritan” for fear of being defiled.  Nevertheless, Yahshua commands him to defile himself: “Lawyer, if you want to live, go and do likewise.” 

   Give the lawyer the benefit of the doubt: let’s say he thought about doing good for a few days.  He undoubtedly saw a “muggee” on the Jericho Road; there were plenty!  But our lawyer probably just glanced for a moment, said “Nah,” and moved on toward his clean little temple, so stained with the blood of bull. 

   As for us, Yahweh points us to ­that man – robbed, beaten half to death, bleeding in the road.  Shall we get a little blood on our clothes or pass our neighbor by?  Friends, we are passing him by – because time is passing us by while we pass idly.

   {Optional: Let me speak a parable: Perhaps while we’re considering that mangled man on the road, we’re thinking about his bill: what is the correct bookkeeping procedure, in case we must pay?  How strictly should we measure our contribution?  How liberal must we be?  How squared away or squirreled away – ¡don’t touch my money – that’s mine!   It’s not designated for the unclean foreigner – let’s build a little monument instead that’ll live forever!  ¡I said, don’t touch that!}

   Might our personal laws ever be subordinated to a higher and more compassionate law?  Don’t we realize that a neighbor’s life is at stake?  Who’ll step in and save him?  If we don’t take what we have and step in, Yahshua will step in instead – with healing for some, life for some – and judgment for others.  {pause}

 

The Cast and Crew

  Allegories like The Good Samaritan also contain embedded messages from long ago – cut into stone – faded from the erosion of centuries.  There’s deeper meaning here that transcends past time – and alights upon the end-time – our time.  What message has Yahshua hidden in stone for his people of the twenty-first century?  Behold!

   The Wounded Man – the neighbor – he represents “the lost tribes” of Israel (that we discovered in our last message on the Prodigal Son) – he’s you and me and anyone else who seeks the promised land.  He’s mugged on the Jericho Road – there where blind Bartimaeus sat – where the tribes of Israel were numbered (Numbers 26:63) – where Yahweh promised them their inheritance of land (Deuteronomy 34:4) – where they finally passed into the promise – and where Moses died, having seen the promise, but never entering (Deuteronomy 32:49) – all on the Jericho Road – the rough road to the promise of eternal life. 

   The robbers are the false prophets of Israel – who’d rob G-d of His authority, truth and possessions – who’d lead true Israelites into idolatry – who tempts Yahweh to empty out Israel by means of the king of Assyria – who made His house of prayer a den of thieves – Malachi 3:9.  “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me; the whole nation of you, says Yahweh.”  They would steal away Israel’s inheritance and fill the land with superstitious idolaters – and one false priest with a mission to steal, kill and destroy that little dab that was left. 

   The Priest and the Levite – two men – were the earthly representatives of Yahweh.  Like the lawyer and the Pharisees, these men of Yahweh were experts in the letter and tradition of law – yet they never attain to the higher law, that Yahweh the lawgiver loves and has compassion, and that his care may transcend any law that he makes.  One prophet said,

Isaiah 63:7-9 (KJV) I will mention the lovingkindnesses of Yahweh, and the praises of Yahweh, according to all that He hath bestowed on us, and His great goodness toward the house of Israel.  In all their affliction He was afflicted, and His angel saved them.

The Priests and the Levites were passing on by – Yahshua means to say that they were passing forever.  Priests, Levites and their temple were all destroyed within the generation, putting an end to these holy offices entirely.  Why? Again we turn to the prophet:

Isaiah 56:11,12  “The shepherds have no understanding [of compassion?]; they have all turned their own way, each to his own gain. “Come,” they say, “let us get wine and fill ourselves – tomorrow will be just like today, great beyond measure!”

What fools we are, passing away on the Jericho Road.

   The Good Samaritan is Yahshua, of course.  Did you know he owned property in Samaria?  Jacob’s Well near Sychar was his to claim (Matthew 1:2,18; Luke 3:23,34).  Yahshua was brought up in what used to be Samaria, now Galilee.  Though the Priests and Levites pass the wounded Israelite by, Yahshua is sent to seek out the lost of Israel.  Many still living in Samaria, including the woman at the well in John 4, were, by blood, of “the lost tribes.”  We remember the great confessions that Yahshua made to the Samaritan woman.  John 4:22.  “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” 

   And this is what the two coins represent – the two tribes called Jews – Judah and Levi – from which salvation originated; for Judah and Levi preserved the law and the prophets (two more coins), both predicting the coming of Yah’s Salvation (John 5:46) -- the Commandments of G-d and the Testimony of Jesus – the end-time currency of true saints – the money that buys them out of tribulation.  They’re the Law and Prophets, just as the lawyer mentioned at the beginning: love Yahweh; love your neighbor.  Do we imagine tomorrow will be just like today, “great beyond measure”?

   The inn to which the wounded Israelite is taken represents the true temple, that of the Holy Spirit. 

1 Corinthians 3:16,17.  Know ye not that ye are the temple and that the Spirit of Yahweh dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of Yahweh, him shall Yahweh destroy; for the temple of Yahweh is holy, which temple ye are.

Recall again the words of Yahshua to the Samaritan woman at the well –

John 4:21,23,24 “Lady, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” 

The innkeeper is the Paraclete – the Holy Spirit.  He stands in for the Good Samaritan while he goes about his business.  Before he leaves, the Samaritan promises the wounded neighbor,

John 14: 16,17 “I will pray the Father, and he will give you a Helper -- the Spirit of truth -- you will know him for he’ll live with you.” 

That helper, the spirit of truth, the Paraclete, is the keeper of the temple.  He should also be the keeper of our homes and lives, and the influence for good in all our decisions.

   The Good Samaritan promises the innkeeper that he’ll return and pay all that’s owing.  This “Promissory Note” details Yahshua’s pledge to return with the rod of iron and the staff of the shepherd.  With rod and staff, he’ll pay ALL THAT’S OWING.  He’ll repay the innkeeper for his faithfulness.  He’ll repay the robbers for the harm they’ve done his neighbor.  He’ll repay the Priest and Levite, and all other false shepherds, and cast them into the Lake of Fire with their father the devil.

Jeremiah 12:14.  This says Yahweh about all my evil neighbors who touch the inheritance of my people Israel: “Behold, I will pluck them up from their land! 

The false teachers of these end-times will have their rapture, all right; Yahweh will pluck them up and judge them harshly.  Indeed, “If any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, says Yahweh” (Jeremiah 12:17) 

  But afterward, the Good Samaritan promises that

“I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.  You shall no more call for the ark of the covenant.  It shall never even come to mind.”  (Jeremiah 3:15,16). 

When he “shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel” (Psalms 2:9), I’ll be confessing, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: his rod and staff comfort me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the Yahweh’s house forever (Psalms 23:5,6).

 

Is That Not Our Claim?

   This is how I want my own walk on the Jericho Road to end – in the House of Yahweh forever.  I want that for you, too – ye modern-day Israelites – ye lost tribes, found!  I implore you to forsake the clean side of the road for the blood-stained – the easy decision for the lasting good – temporal life for eternal. 

   “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” the lawyer asked.  Here’s Yahshua’s answer (though it is also a parable):

Matthew 19:28-30.  “In the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on thrones, judging the tribes of Israel ... and inherit eternal life.  Many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.” 

Friend, on the Jericho Road today, there’s room for just two: Jesus and You.  Swallow your pride and allow yourself to be rescued; you may be a mangled mess of flesh on the verge of eternity, and this may be your last opportunity.  Amen.


1. As you travel along on the Jericho Road

Does the world seem all wrong and heavy your load?

Just bring it to Christ your sins all confess.

On the Jericho Road your heart He will bless

 

Chorus: On the Jericho Road --There's room for just two

No more and no less
Just Jesus and you

Each burden He'll bear –

Each sorrow He'll share.

There's never a care

For Jesus is there.

 

2. On the Jericho Road blind Bar-tim-ae-us sat

His life was a void, so empty and flat

But Jesus appeared: one word brought him sight

On the Jericho Road Christ banished his night.


3. Oh, brother, to you this message I bring:

Though hope may be gone, He'll cause you to sing!

At Jesus' command sins shackles must fall!

On the Jericho Road you will answer His call!


SERMON CHECK-OFF

[    ] Luke 10:25.  And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test ...

[    ] Deuteronomy 6:4.  “You shall love Yahweh your g-d ...

[    ] Deuteronomy 6:6.  “These words which I command you this day ...

[    ] Matthew 22:36.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment ...

[    ] Deuteronomy 6:16. “You shall not put Yahweh your g-d to the test.”

[    ] Deuteronomy 15:2,3. “Every creditor will dissolve his neighbor’s debts ...”

[    ] 2 Kings 17:3.  Against Hosea came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria ...

[    ] Leviticus 22:4. Whoever touches anything dead is unclean ...

[    ] A higher layer of the law – the Samaritan cared.

[    ] Malachi 3:9.  “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me ...”

[    ] Isaiah 63:7-9 (KJV) I will mention the lovingkindnesses of Yahweh ...

[    ] Isaiah 56:11,12  “The shepherds have no understanding of compassion.

[    ] John 4:22.  “Salvation is from the Jews.” 

[    ] 1 Corinthians 3:16,17.  Know ye not that ye are the temple?

[    ] John 4:21-24. “The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.”

[    ] John 14:16,17. “I will pray the Father, and he will give you a Helper...”

[    ] Jeremiah 12:14.  “About all my evil neighbors: ‘Behold, I will pluck them up...”

[    ] Jeremiah 31: 15. “I will give you shepherds after my own heart ...”

[    ] Psalms 2:9.  “He shall break them with a rod of iron ...”

[    ] Psalms 23:5.  “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death ...”

[    ] Matthew 19:28-30.  “When the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne...”

Jackson Snyder, March 25, 2004