The Parable of the Good Samaritan

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In this week’s episode on the Marriage After God Podcast, we discuss a powerful and edifying way to interpret The Parable of the Good Samaritan. As you listen, it’s important to understand that no law justifies man. When we view life and see our need for a savior, we realize our strength is never enough–we cannot help ourselves. 
 
“…But the reality is, is recognize we deserve a cross. We deserve to be crucified. We deserve to have our sin atoned for, dealt with by the justice of God. Which goes, again, back to the gospel, Christ took our cross for us. And the cross he’s asking us to bear now, is a spiritual one.Aaron Smith

We pray this episode blesses and encourages you to interpret parables in a way you have never considered. 

READ TRANSCRIPT

[Aaron Smith]       

Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

[Aaron Smith]   

And today we’re going to talk about the parable of the good Samaritan.

[Aaron Smith] 

Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.

[Jennifer Smith] 

I’m Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.

[Aaron Smith]   

And I’m Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution.

[Jennifer Smith]

We have been married for over a decade.

[Aaron Smith] 

And so far, we have four young children.

[Jennifer Smith] 

We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through blogging and social media.

[Aaron Smith] 

With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith everyday.

[Jennifer Smith]   

We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life-

[Aaron Smith] 

Love-

[Jennifer Smith]

… and power.

[Aaron Smith]   

That can only be found by chasing after God.

[Jennifer Smith] 

Together.

[Aaron Smith]    

Thank you for joining us on this journey as we chase boldly after God’s will for our life together.

[Jennifer Smith]   

This is Marriage After God.

[Jennifer Smith]

Hey everyone. Thanks for joining us for this week’s episode of Marriage After God. We’re so excited to have you.

[Jennifer Smith] 

Before we jump in to today’s topic, we wanted to encourage you to get your free download of Date Night Conversation Starters. And all you have to do is go to DateNightConversations.com and download those. They’re great prompts and questions for you to go into your date night with something specific to talk about.

[Jennifer Smith] 

We all get encouraged and inspired by having these prompts. So, we just hope that they’re an encouragement to you and your marriage. And again, you can get that free download at DateNightConversations.com.

[Aaron Smith]   

So, I think we have an interesting episode today. Something that you, Jennifer, were really encouraged by this last week. And you just … You felt excited to share with our audience just how the Lord loved on you.

[Jennifer Smith] 

Yeah. So, I’m going to walk you through this journey of kind of what happened to us and how it impacted us on a Sunday. And I hope that it blesses you.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, and just to maybe give a little bit of background to what this is about, is you just … We had been talking for a few weeks now about little ways that God’s been loving on us personally. Which is really good, because I-

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah, encouraging us, revealing himself to us.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, which we believe God does with everyone. And we’re not talking about individual personal revelations of God, we’re just talking about like God loved on us, or like, “Man, that was God.” Like, “Thank you, Lord.” And just made us worship him.

[Aaron Smith]       

And this is one of those stories. And it surrounds an experience we had at church recently.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah. So, leading up to that Sunday, I had been reading through Luke. And in my personal Bible reading, I hadn’t been going through a study or anything like that. I just … I haven’t even really been digging in to dig in. It was more of just, “Let’s enjoy the scripture,” type of experience with God.

[Aaron Smith]       

And consistency. You’ve been trying to like be in more … on a more regular basis.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah. And I was taking it very slowly. But I was reading through Luke and I honestly was asking the question, “Am I even getting anything new out of this?” I don’t know if you guys relate to this. But sometimes I skip the Gospels, you know, Matthew, Mark-

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, because we like know them, right?

[Jennifer Smith]    

Well, you hear the stories and you know the parables. And so, sometimes I think it could be easy to skip over and jump through some of the other books. I don’t know.

[Aaron Smith]       

Well, I personally relate to this, because you know me, I can’t watch a movie twice, because I can kind of like remember the storyline, all the imagery. So, the moment I start watching a movie, I’m like, “Oh, I can’t do this.” And I’ve been convicted about this, because I actually take scripture the same way. Like what you’re saying. Like I’ll skip over Romans. I won’t read the Gospels. And all I’m thinking is like, “I already read that, what am I going to get out of that.” I’m trying to like find something new or something.

[Aaron Smith]       

But every single time I open up, I’m like, I don’t even remember … I’m like, “I don’t remember reading this. What is this?” And I find new nuggets. So, I relate.

[Jennifer Smith]

Yeah. And you know what? God’s word is so beautiful in that we really do learn something new every time that we read it. And even if we don’t, it’s such a beautiful experience just to be reading the word of God, that we just shouldn’t skip over it. And so, hopefully this episode’s already convicting, like Aaron said.

[Aaron Smith]       

It’s convicting me.

[Jennifer Smith]

And that we should be willing to even go through the Gospels or whatever part of the Bible that-

[Aaron Smith]      

Any part of the Bible.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Okay, so I was going through Luke and I’m wondering to myself, “Am I getting anything new out of this?” And really I was asking the question, “How do I draw out wisdom from scripture? How do I, as a person, do that so that I get more out of scripture?”

[Jennifer Smith]    

And I actually-

[Aaron Smith]       

Which is not a bad thing to think.

[Jennifer Smith]   

Right. Yeah, I know. And I was … I had just asked myself that, I think the night before. So, Saturday night. And I was wondering, “Should I be going through like a study?” Like I was questioning the way I was doing it, because I was just experiencing it, just enjoying it, and going through it slowly. And then I started asking myself, “Should I get like a supplement study to help me draw out the [crosstalk 00:04:50]?”

[Aaron Smith]       

Well, I think you also mentioned how you … almost like a guilt of like, “I don’t have enough knowledge to understand what I’m getting out of these.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah, feeling down on myself for not having a deeper understanding.

[Aaron Smith]       

Like, “Do I need to know Hebrew? Do I need to know Greek?” Like, am I … which are good things to know. Right?

[Jennifer Smith]   

I was just going to say, look, if you do have a study that you like going through, there’s plenty of resources out there. I’m all for that. There’s nothing wrong with those. I was just kind of in my own little questioning I guess.

[Aaron Smith]      

Would you say that it felt almost like you were being … almost like the enemy was judging you or making you feel like, “I’m not good at this,” or, “I’m failing at this,” or do you feel like you were struggling with some of those insecurities?

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah, I didn’t see it as the enemy. I just saw it in my own weakness, my own flesh of like, “I’m not good enough to teach myself scripture or to understand why this is important as I’m reading it.”

[Jennifer Smith] 

And it also, looking back now, could have just been the way God wanted me to ask that question so that he could answer it. If that makes sense. Which is what I’ll get into.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Okay. So, it was Sunday morning. And we were on our way to church. And usually I’m pretty engaging with you guys and the kids. I, for whatever reason, decided to … I asked you about a certain scripture I’d read the night before in Luke. And after we had talked about it, I continued reading since I had my phone out and I had the Bible app open on my phone. And so, it was silent in the car for a little bit, the kids were talking to each other in the back. And you looked over and asked me, “What are you reading?”

[Jennifer Smith]    

And we only had a couple minutes til we had gotten to church, so I just started reading out loud. And it happened to be the rich, young ruler parable. And so, I’m just going to read it just so that you guys can go on this journey with us.

[Jennifer Smith]    

So, it’s Luke 18:18-34. It says, “And a ruler asked him, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good, no one is good except God alone. You know the commandments. Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother.’ And he said, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth.’ When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘One thing you still lack, sell all that you have and distribute to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come, follow me.'”

[Jennifer Smith]    

“But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, ‘How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God, for it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.’ Those who heard it said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ But he said, ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.’ And Peter said, ‘See, we have left our homes and followed you.’ And he said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not receive many times more in this time and in the age to come eternal life.'”

[Jennifer Smith]    

“And taking the 12, he said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the son of man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him. And on the third day, he will rise.’ But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them and they did not grasp what was said.”

[Jennifer Smith]   

So, I kind of just read it and then we talked a little bit about the rich, young ruler and what God was teaching through that parable. Briefly, like really briefly, on the way to church.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah. It was just because I didn’t have time to like dig too deep into it, but I was thinking like, “Well, yeah, it says rich men … it’s harder for a rich man to get into heaven, but is he really saying like rich men can’t go to heaven?”

[Jennifer Smith]    

Like will your wealth stop you?

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah. And then I said, “Well, right after that, he says what’s impossible with man is possible with God.” And we started talking about that, how-

[Jennifer Smith]    

But then I just marveled in that for a little bit.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, we’re like, hey, I mean, I guess … I mean, things that seem impossible in our eyes are made possible in God, because of Christ Jesus, which I thought was really cool. So, we kind of just discussed that, I remember that.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah. So, that’s one benefit of just reading scripture out loud to each other, is you get to dialogue about it, which I really love. But it was such a short little space in our Sunday morning. And then we got to church.

[Aaron Smith]       

And internally you’re still struggling with, “I don’t understand with all this,” and like, “Am I …” I don’t know.

[Jennifer Smith]    

At the time, yeah.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah. So, just having his word on my mind and on my heart and wanting so desperately to understand even more.

[Jennifer Smith]    

And so, we’re at church and we do home church. We’ve shared about this before. But in the beginning, we come together and we’re just kind of like fellowshipping. We’re saying hi to each other, catching up on the week. And then when we start, we open up with praise songs or testimonies and-

[Aaron Smith]       

Prayer.

[Jennifer Smith]    

… prayer. And then we go into the teaching. And so, one of the men brought a teaching, this specific Sunday morning, that really impacted me.

[Aaron Smith]       

And just to give a little bit of context, the way we do fellowship is we believe that every member in the body is-

[Aaron Smith]       

Hey, Marriage After God friends, I wanted to take a short break from today’s topic to thank you. Thank you for your continued faithfulness in listening each and every week. Jennifer and I have often shared with you about how important prayer is, is in the life of a believer. It’s so important, in fact, that we’re told this in I Thessalonians, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

[Aaron Smith]       

It is God’s will for us to pray. And we want to inspire you to begin praying for your spouse and marriage every day. This world hates marriage and so does our enemy, because he knows the power that your marriage is meant to have in this world. He knows that if you and your spouse are praying and chasing boldly after God together, that the impact Christ will have in and through you will be powerful. So, we need to be praying more than ever before.

[Aaron Smith]       

Our heart is to encourage you, along with everyone who listens to this show, to be praying for your spouses and your marriages. Be strengthened, renewed, healed, prepared, and empowered to do the ministry that God has for you to do in this world together.

[Aaron Smith]       

So, with that being said, Jennifer and I would love to invite you to join with thousands of other couples in taking our 31-day marriage prayer challenge. This is a completely free and fun way to build a habit of prayer in your marriage. All you have to do to join is visit MarriagePrayerChallenge.com and fill out the registration form. Once you do that, you’ll begin to receive an email every day from us during the 31 days, to not only remind you to pray for your spouse, but we’ll also give you various topics and prompts to help you know what to pray for.

[Aaron Smith]       

We dare your marriage to start praying like never before. Start the challenge today at Marriageprayerchallenge.com.

[Aaron Smith]       

Now enjoy the rest of today’s episode.

[Aaron Smith]       

And just to give a little bit of context, the way we do fellowship is we believe that every member in the body is gifted by the Holy Spirit, and so we encourage all the men, just based off of scripture, to use those giftings. So, some of us are always coming prepared to teach. And so, it’s not always the same person teaching. There’s not-

[Jennifer Smith]    

And sometimes it’s multiple.

[Aaron Smith]       

And sometimes it’s multiple people teaching. But this week, one of them in the fellowship brought a teaching.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah. And so, he starts with a smile on his face and says, “Will you guys join me in Luke.” And I’m like, “You got to be kidding me! I’ve been reading Luke, this is awesome!”

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, you were excited about it.

[Jennifer Smith]    

I was like, immediate. That was just the first thing that stood out to me, was God’s like, “Hey, Jen, are you listening in?” And I’m like, “Yup, I’m there. I’m …” So, okay. So, he says … he actually invites his-

[Aaron Smith]       

And he didn’t know you were reading Luke.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Oh, he has no idea.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, the guy-

[Jennifer Smith]    

God knows.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, God knows.

[Jennifer Smith]   

So, he invites his oldest son to read aloud Luke 10:25-37. Which was-

[Aaron Smith]       

Which was also awesome, because Elliot was like, “Hey, it was really cool that he read the word of God, he blessed me.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

Ellie said that?

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, he-

[Jennifer Smith]    

I didn’t know that. That’s awesome. Okay. So, I’m just going to read … I’m going to have you read it, Aaron, this time. And if anything out of this episode, I hope that you guys are encouraged by the scripture that we read.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah. If you hear nothing else, hear the words of God.

[Jennifer Smith] 

 Yeah.

[Aaron Smith]

And so, it’s Luke 10, verses 25 through 37.

[Aaron Smith]       

“And behold, the lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly, do this and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”    

“Jesus 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. Now, by chance, a priest was going down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day, he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend I will repay when I come back.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be the neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” Luke 10:25-37

[Aaron Smith]       

He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go and do likewise.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

Such a good parable. And one that’s really recognizable. I think everyone listening just now probably had the same response I did sitting in church that Sunday, which is-

[Aaron Smith]       

Like, “Oh, yeah, the good Samaritan.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

Oh, yeah, I remember that story.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, we have ministries named after it.

[Jennifer Smith]    

So, that was really cool. And so, while we’re sitting there, I remember the man that was teaching referenced other parts of Luke where Jesus was asked this question by three different people, one of them being the rich, young ruler. He mentions that. And each time, Jesus responds differently.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Do you want to share a little bit more?

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah, well what’s awesome about this … I mean, this is the first time I’ve ever heard this story explained this way. And I thought it was so beautiful. This is what’s awesome about the gifts in the body, is they’re diverse. And this man’s way of seeing scripture from … enlightened it for me in a way that I’ve never known before. And for you, too, Jennifer.

[Aaron Smith]       

And he’s explaining, he’s like, three other times, you know, there was the rich, young ruler, there’s this story, and Jesus is tried to be trapped. And they say, “How do I inherit eternal life?” Which is … What’s funny is this is a question that we all ask when we’re trying to do it on our own righteousness.

[Aaron Smith]       

And this guy explains that all of them were given the answer that they need to hear, based on their flesh. And it was based on … you know, they’re looking for their self-righteousness, they’re looking for … and he’s telling me, he’s like, “Oh, okay. Yeah, do it this way. And do it this way.” And then he mentioned how Jesus gives a different response to his disciples. Which I thought was really powerful. And the response he gives to his disciples is to believe in him.

[Aaron Smith]       

And the response he gives to these men who are trying to justify themselves is, “Go do the law.” Which justifies no man. And so, that was something that was enlightening for me. I was like, “Wow, I never even thought of that.” Because we look at those pictures of Jesus telling these men, personally, how to inherit eternal life and we say, “Oh, well then I have to sell everything. Oh, then I must do this commandment.” But that’s not at all what he’s doing. He’s giving them the answer based off of their own … what they’re looking for. How to do it themselves. Which is not the answer.

[Aaron Smith]       

Selling everything you have will not get you to heaven. It’s believing Jesus Christ alone that justifies any man. So, just looking at this from that perspective was really awesome. I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for, but that’s what I remember from-

[Jennifer Smith]    

No, that was really good. So, just again, we’re just taking you guys on this journey of how this Sunday impacted me. And those little moments in life where God gets your attention, because they’re really beautiful and I want your eyes to be opened to how God is doing this in your life.

[Aaron Smith]       

And to be looking for those moments.

[Jennifer Smith]    

And to be looking for them, and to be excited for them. And so, I call these moments treasures. I don’t know how else to explain it. But it’s like treasure to me. And it’s so precious to me. So, already I’m thinking, “Okay, he’s in Luke, no way. That’s awesome.” And then, as he’s sharing, he brings up the rich, young ruler, which we had just read on the way to church, there’s no coincidence there. That was really beautiful. And then he goes into explaining this teaching on who the good Samaritan is in light of who Jesus is talking to and what they would have considered with this passage.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Do you want to share a little bit? I feel like you would share better.

[Aaron Smith]       

So, I if remember correctly, correct me if I’m not getting the details, he started explaining how we as westerners, and this is reality, look at this story and we often interpret ourselves as the Samaritan. Oh, yeah, we want to be the good Samaritan that are going to go and love our neighbor and … because that’s essentially what Jesus is even saying, you know, that’s the one that’s the neighbor, the good Samaritan.

[Aaron Smith]       

So, he’s saying we often will interpret the story as we’re the Samaritan. And he says … and then he started explaining, he says, “But the people Jesus was talking to, these Jewish lawyers, would never have-

[Jennifer Smith]    

Associated themselves with-

[Aaron Smith]       

Never.

[Jennifer Smith]    

… the Samaritan.

[Aaron Smith]       

They would not have thought to themselves … And he explained it so good. They would never have said, “Oh, I’m the Samaritan in this story.” They hated the Samaritans, the Jews did back then. This is why Jesus portrayed the story this way, specifically to these Jewish minded people, understanding the word of God, understanding the law I should say. And understanding who Samaritans were, and understanding who Levites were and understanding who priests were. Because that was … All of those things were familiar to these Jewish lawyers.

[Aaron Smith]       

They would never have put themselves in the place of the Samaritan. And so, he starts explaining. He’s like, “So, if we change the way we look at this, not to necessarily look at it the way they would, but to recognize the purpose is that we are the man that was robbed on the side of the road.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

Beaten.

[Aaron Smith]       

Because the man that was robbed on the side of the road is who he was explaining they were, these Jewish people. They would not have necessarily looked at themselves as the priests, they wouldn’t have necessarily looked at themselves as the Levite. They definitely wouldn’t have identified as the Samaritan. So, the only one left is the one that’s robbed and beaten and half-dead, who needs the Samaritan’s help, who needs to be … Who can’t help themselves.

[Aaron Smith]       

Now, if you’re starting to recognize this, the Gospel’s starting to portray itself, because that’s exactly what Jesus is doing. He’s explaining how the gospel works. We are the half-dead man. Cannot help ourselves, tried getting there on our own, and we’re laying there helpless, dying. That’s what we are.

[Aaron Smith]       

And we need the help of the savior in the story, which is the good Samaritan. Jesus is the Samaritan, not us, in this story. And so, what I thought was powerful was when he explains this, this way, it just reminds me of how we should look at all the parables. How we should look at all the Bible is in light of who Jesus is, not who we are, necessarily.

[Aaron Smith]       

And if we put ourselves in the correct place, we actually can see clearly.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, yeah. I’m sitting in church and I’m listening to him and I look over at Aaron, I’m like, “I’ve never thought of it like that.”

[Aaron Smith]       

And I haven’t either.

[Jennifer Smith]    

And when you hear it that way, your immediate response is you recognize that if you’re the person robbed and beaten, that you’re a person in need of a savior.

[Aaron Smith]       

In need of charity. In need of being taken care of, healed.

[Jennifer Smith]    

And I think that is a beautiful place to be, being someone who knows my need for Christ and knows my need for a savior-

[Aaron Smith]       

I want to … I just remembered another portion of this that he brought up that blew my mind. Remember, going back to interpreting this through the gospel, not through our own experiences, but through the gospel, which is an appropriate way to interpret these parables. He talks about how the Samaritan put the man, lifted the man up, because the man can’t lift himself up. Lifted the man up with his strength and placed him on his animal, which is an elusion to Jesus entering into Jerusalem on a donkey, which was a representation of kingship. Right?

[Aaron Smith]       

And so, he shows in this story beaten and robbed and half-dead man, now be putting in the place of a king. So, where the Sarmatian should have been sitting, the half-dead man is sitting, which is, again, the gospel.

[Aaron Smith]       

We deserve death and wrath and hell, and Christ exchanges all of that for himself. And now we sit in the place of Christ and Christ has taken on our place, our position, it’s that whole … that’s the whole definition of propitiation. He switched spots with us, he took on our sin, he took on the wrath of God, the fullness of God’s wrath that we deserve, on his own body. And if you think about it, so you see this Sarmatian who paid. He even explained how two denarii was like six months wages. So, he’s like, “He paid this high, high, high price to continue to take care of this man, put him on his own dock, he put him in a hotel, took care of him.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah, it wasn’t like one night in an inn. It was like a recovery. It was like-

[Aaron Smith]       

Until he was fully recovered, which is another beautiful picture of the gospel.

[Jennifer Smith]    

He was provided for.

[Aaron Smith]       

Sanctification, we’re continually being worked on, the Bible tells us.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Long term.

[Aaron Smith]       

The Bible tells us he’s going to finish the work he began in us.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah. That’s all … Man, it was so powerful. So, another thing that stood out to me, was he mentioned … He kind of gave this really beautiful picture of where the road to Jericho was and it was like-

[Aaron Smith]       

This crazy, windy, one way in, and one way out, perfect for being robbed.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Right. But the fact that the man was half-dead and not fully dead, meant what?

[Aaron Smith]       

So, if someone’s fully dead, then it was a while that it happened, a while ago that it happened. So, the robbers are probably gone. If he’s half-dead and fresh and he’s still there alive, means they’re probably near by.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Which means if you’re going to stop and save someone, you’re doing it at the risk-

[Aaron Smith]       

You’re choosing to risk.

[Jennifer Smith]    

You know that you’re risking your own life, because the robbers could still be there and they could take advantage of you.

[Aaron Smith]       

Right.

[Jennifer Smith]    

I’ve never thought about that before. And so I’m sitting here going, “Yes, yes! Jesus risked everything for me. And I don’t deserve any of it.”

[Aaron Smith]       

Well, he actually gave his life.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah.

[Aaron Smith]       

In replace of ours, which is awesome. So, just this whole time, Jennifer’s just being like totally blessed by God.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Well, this is the-

[Aaron Smith]       

And the whole fellowship is, by the way, because it was amazing.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah. And this was the type of wisdom that I was longing to receive that I thought I had to draw out of scripture myself. And so, I felt like in that moment, God was saying, “Are you hearing this?” And then we were sitting there, and you got to share something after he was done talking about a conversation we had earlier this week.

[Jennifer Smith]    

And you brought up that in Matthew … We were sitting in bed one night and I had this question for you. It’s in Matthew 16:24. 

“I said to you, Then Jesus told his disciples, if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

[Aaron Smith]       

Oh, yeah.

[Jennifer Smith]    

And I had asked you the question, did they understand what that meant? Because Jesus hadn’t died on the cross yet. And I had never realized that I’m seeing everything after the fact. I know the scriptures, I know that Jesus has already died. So, for me to recognize that what he’s telling his disciples is to pick up your cross and follow, I know what the cross means. I know what Jesus did on the cross.

[Aaron Smith]       

Because we come from knowledge. Like we’ve seen him. We’re on the other side of the-

[Jennifer Smith]    

And I was sitting there, and I was like, “But if they hadn’t experienced the cross yet, did they understand what Jesus was saying?” Talk about that conversation for a second.

[Aaron Smith]       

Well, and I thought to myself, I was like, “Well, yeah, they know Jesus hadn’t died yet. And they have seen crucifixions, because that was the Roman’s favorite way of killing people.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

But for what reason?

[Aaron Smith]       

It was … They were bad people.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Crimes.

[Aaron Smith]       

They were murderers, they were thieves, they were sinners, they were the people that you’d be like, “I’m not one of them.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

But in order for Jesus to have said, “Pick up your cross and follow me,” you had to identify-

[Aaron Smith]       

With one of those men.

[Jennifer Smith]    

With one of them, as a sinner. As a person in need of-

[Aaron Smith]       

So, essentially what you were … the Lord was revealing to you as we were talking about it, is in that scripture, Jesus is essentially saying, “Recognize you deserve one. So pick it up and follow me.”

[Aaron Smith]       

And Jesus hadn’t died yet. But he picks up his own cross for us. He picks up our physical cross and then he asks us to spiritually pick up ours. Which means to lay down ourselves for him. To die to ourselves and live to Christ. Which is a pretty insane thing, when you think about it.

[Aaron Smith]      

Because it’s easy in that scripture to be like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Pick up my cross. That’s my cross to bear.” We kind of hear it like in this allegorical sense of like, “Oh, yeah, you know, I have a cross to bear.” But the reality is, is recognize we deserve a cross. We deserve to be crucified. We deserve to have our sin atoned for, dealt with by the justice of God. Which goes, again, back to the gospel, is Christ took our cross for us. And the cross he’s asking us to bear now, is a spiritual one. He’s saying, “Lay down your flesh.” Because the cross is an instrument to kill your flesh, which our Pastor Matt always said that, that’s what the cross is for, it kills the flesh, you die on it.

[Aaron Smith]       

So, when Jesus is saying, “Take up your cross and follow me, anyone who denies himself has a place with me.” What we’re saying is, “I’m going to put my flesh aside and I’m going to say yes to God. And I’m going to do that in the spirit.” Which is, again, a picture of baptism. So, all of these things and it’s just a powerful thought, recognizing like we deserve a cross.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Yeah. And it all-

[Aaron Smith]       

We’re the dead man on the side of the road.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Exactly. It was this perspective shift of who we are. But really, what was so powerful that day, was it was … the question was, who is the good Samaritan? And it’s Jesus. And some of the girls and I were talking about the message after church. We always do a big potluck style family lunch/dinner.

[Aaron Smith]       

Everyone brings food. It’s delicious.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Everyone brings awesome food. And so we’re just sitting around and, you know, I was just sharing how impactful the message was to me. And one of the other things that stood out to myself is, you know, so often we do things in our own strength. And so often I’ve considered this parable and I see myself, you know, riding on the horse and saving the day.

[Jennifer Smith]    

And what was really powerful to me, is in his teaching and recognizing that Jesus is the one that comes in to save the day, and then afterwards he says in this parable, at the very end, “Do likewise?” So, he does want you to follow in his footsteps. He wants you to be that person. But instead of seeing me on the horse saving the day, I see the image of Jesus. And I look forward to being like him. And it changes drastically, my heart’s motivation for why I do the things that I do, why I serve the way that I serve, and why I give charity.

[Aaron Smith]      

Well, and this goes to the culmination of what he was trying to teach on was when it comes to charity, when it comes to giving of ourselves, giving of our time, giving of our resources, his encouragement was just so we can … They’re probably wondering why he was bringing all this up. Is the reason we do those things, should never be out of guilt or obligation. But it should be out of love for God.

[Aaron Smith]       

And he used this story of the good Samaritan to explain the only way we can actually do that is to recognize who we are in the story. When we’re the one that has received the goodness of God, when we’re the one that has received the care and the helping when the Samaritan has picked us up and put us on his donkey, when we’re that one, then the charity comes out of, “I give you what I’ve been given.” Not a, “Look at me coming in to save the day.” Not a, “Oh, I feel guilty because I’m better off than you.”

[Aaron Smith]      

Because when we put ourselves in this place of the Samaritan in the story, then it’s a, “Oh, I need to help because I’m better off than you.” But that’s not why we should be the good Samaritan. When we recognize what we’ve received and it comes out of that, Paul says it this way. He says, “With the grace that I,” or with the, “comfort that I’ve received, I comfort you.” And that’s where our charity should come from, our generosity, our love should come out of. “Oh, my goodness. God saved me.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

So powerful. I was so moved by all of this. And even getting in the car later on that day with you, Aaron, and just kind of reflecting on what happened that day, I remember sharing with you, I felt like God just answered my question and said, “Jen, it’s not you that pulls the wisdom out of my word, it’s me offering it to you. It’s me giving it to you. It’s me revealing myself to you.”

[Jennifer Smith]    

And I was moved. And I wanted to share that with you guys today, because I think so often we can do things on our own strength or have a skewed perspective of the way things should be, and God is so faithful and so loving and his provision is perfect in that I want to encourage you to keep your eyes open for all the little treasures God has for you. And I hope that this episode blessed you today.

[Aaron Smith]       

Yeah. So, as usual, we’re going to close in prayer.

[Aaron Smith]       

Father, God, we love you. We thank you so much for your word. We thank you so much that you are a personal God. That you come to us, that you speak to us, that you reveal yourself to us. And that you share with us all good things. And, Father, I thank you so much for your Holy Spirit who teaches us and convicts us. And I pray, Lord, that those listening would be encouraged by today’s episode, that they would be encouraged by your word. And that they’d begin looking for all the ways that you’re already speaking to them, revealing yourself to them, loving them through your word and through the body of Christ. I just pray that they would go and seek after you more and more every single day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

[Jennifer Smith]    

Amen.

[Aaron Smith]       

If you’ve loved this episode, as always, leave us a review. We look forward to having you next week. God bless.

[Aaron Smith]       

Did you enjoy today’s show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also, if you’re interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at MarriageAfterGod.com. And let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriag

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