The BIG IDEA:
Jesus made a point to go to people who were unlike him to offer them life in himself, and he calls us to do the same.
We tend to keep our faith to ourselves and to others who are like us.
Because Jesus made a point to go to those who were unlike him and compassionately offer them life in himself, we should draw on the power of his Spirit and make it a point to go to those who are unlike us and compassionately offer his life to them.
Different people who look so different remind us that not everyone in the world looks like us. Jesus wants each of them to know about Him and we can help Him make that happen.
The SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC:
Jesus wants to draw people from all different backgrounds and cultures into his family. But we don’t always share that heart. Sometimes we prefer to keep our faith to our own group of friends and to those who have similar backgrounds, interests, ethnicities, and cultures. Jesus’ love is so great that it’s worth doing whatever it takes so that people unlike us can experience it too.
- What I want the group to know and understand: That Jesus wants us to bring his love and good news to those who are unlike us.
- What I want the group to experience: Courage to cross barriers of culture, race, ethnicity, and background so that ALL people can know God’s love.
- How I want the group to respond: By trusting God to fill us with his Spirit so that we have his power to bring Jesus to those who are unlike us.
If you have a choice to spend time with people who are like you (similar opinions, interests, and backgrounds) or people who are unlike you (different views, interests, and backgrounds), which is easier and why?
Allow the group to discuss. Help your group to see that it’s easier to be with those who are like us and harder to be with those that are unlike us.
As you explore with your group the story known as The Good Samaritan, help them see that this man went to someone very much unlike him and loved him at great expense. Show your group how this story points to Jesus, the ultimate Good Samaritan, who came to people very much unlike him and loved us at great expense. He empowers us through his Spirit to do the same.
1. Read Luke 10:30, where Jesus begins to tell about being a true neighbor. Describe the situation in your own words.
Allow the group to discuss. A man was on a journey when robbers stripped him, beat him, and left him for dead.
2. Read Luke 10:31-35. What do the three people who saw this man have in common? What’s different between the first two and the third?
All three saw the man. Two passed by on the other side of the road while one felt compassion and met his needs at great cost.
3. What did the Samaritan man do to express his compassion to the man (verses 34-35)?
He went to him, bandaged and treated his wounds, put him on his animal, took him to an inn, took care of him, and paid for someone else to take care of him.
4. How would you define compassion in your own words based on how the Samaritan responded to the man?
Allow the group to discuss. Compassion is seeing a need in a person’s life, feeling deeply about it, and taking action to meet it, even at great expense.
5. Read verses 36-37. What is Jesus’ message to his listeners based on this story?
He helps them see that the Samaritan was the true neighbor and encourages them to follow that compassionate example as they seek to be good neighbors.
6. Read Romans 5:6-8. How does the story of the Good Samaritan point to Jesus as the ultimate Good Samaritan?
Allow the group to discuss. Just as the Good Samaritan saw someone very much unlike him in great need, felt compassion for him, and met his needs at great expense, Jesus did the same. He is without sin, but we are filled with sin. We are in great need because we deserve death for our sin (see Romans 6:23). Yet Jesus showed us compassion at great expense by coming from heaven to earth to live for us and die for us.
7 .Your campus is made up of students from different social and ethnic groups. What are some of those? Do you have friends in the groups that you’re not a part of? What are their lives like? What are their struggles? What are some ways you might love and serve them?
Allow the group to discuss. Encourage your group to think about family, friends, classmates, teammates, teachers, coaches, and co-workers that are different from them in these ways. Lead them in talking about what their lives are like and how you might love and serve them.
8. As you think about these people, in what way can you relate to the two men from Jesus’ story that saw the man but passed by on the other side of the road?
Allow the group to discuss. It will help the discussion if you’re able to give an example from your own life in which you can relate to these two men.
9. What are specific ways you can respond with compassion to these people inspired by what we’ve talked about today?
Allow the group to discuss. Help your group think about how important it is to take the initiative to build relationships with people unlike them, to be willing to risk their reputation, to give of their time, to take an interest in people, ask good questions, and invite them to tell their stories. Remind them that in the context of the things mentioned above, the greatest expression of compassion is pointing them to a relationship with Jesus, the ultimate Good Samaritan.
10. Why is it so important to look to Jesus and his Spirit as you seek to live out his compassion toward those who are unlike you?
Allow the group to discuss. Looking to Jesus is so important because we’re changed into more compassionate people as we draw near to the ultimate Good Samaritan. Depending on his Spirit is so important because he gives us the power to relate compassionately like Jesus.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.