When you can’t improve the story.


Jesus told an expert in the law of Moses a parable, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.

So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:30-37)

There are some stories that you just can’t improve upon. This is one of them. Notice that Jesus didn’t give a sermon on the priest and the Levite or the Samaritan himself.  The message was clear itself. Don’t bore your audience with a long and tedious sermon when a story like this will say it all. Be clear, to the point and make an application that everyone can understand.

There is an essential place for expositional sermons (especially today!) but not all of Jesus parables need them. If the common people who heard Him gladly, understood the parables, we can too.

Never underestimate the power of stories. The bible is full of them!