Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 129

The Good Samaritan, Part I, April 27

A certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:25. (Read Luke 10:30-37.)

With breathless attention the large congregation awaited Jesus' answer.... But Christ, the true searcher of hearts, understood the intents and purposes of His enemies. He turned the matter over to the lawyer who had asked the question, saying, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” ... And the lawyer 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.” ...

The lawyer had asked a plain, decided question, and the answer is equally plain and decided.... In answering the question, “What is written in the law?” the lawyer passed over all the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic ordinances as of no value, and presented only the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets, and Jesus commended his wisdom, and said, “This do, and thou shalt live.” ...

To answer the question, “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus presented the parable of the good Samaritan. He knew that the Jews included only those of their own nation under the title of neighbors, and looked upon the Gentiles with contempt, calling them dogs, uncircumcised, unclean, and polluted. But above all others they despised the Samaritans.... Yet Jesus 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.” ...

As the sufferer lies thus, a priest passes by, but merely glances at the wounded man; and, as he does not wish to be put to the trouble and expense of helping him, he passes by on the other side. Then a Levite passes. Curious to know what has happened, he stops and looks at the sufferer; but he has no feeling of compassion to prompt him to help the dying man. He does not like the work, and, as he thinks it is no concern of his, he too passes by. Both these men were in sacred office, and claimed to know and to expound the Scriptures. They had been trained in the school of national bigotry, and had become selfish, narrow, and exclusive, and they felt no sympathy for anyone unless that person was of the Jews. They look upon the wounded man, but cannot tell whether he is of their nation or not. He might be of the Samaritans—and they turn away.—Signs of the Times, July 16, 1894.

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