Two pence - Two denarii, about fifteen pence, English; and which, probably, were at that time of ten times more value there than so much is with us now.
Two pence - About 27 cents, or 1 shilling, 2d. This may seem a small sum, but we are to remember that that sum was probably ten times as valuable then as now - that is, that it would purchase ten times as much food and the common necessaries of life as the same sum would now. Besides, it is probable that all the man wanted was “attention” and kindness, and for all these it was the purpose of the Samaritan to pay when he returned.
The host - The innkeeper.
Those who have pity for the unfortunate, the blind, the lame, the afflicted, the widows, the orphans, and the needy, Christ represents as commandment keepers, who shall have eternal life. There is in ----- a great lack of personal religion and of a sense of individual obligation to feel for others’ woes and to work with disinterested benevolence for the prosperity of the unfortunate and afflicted. Some have no experience in these duties. They have all their lives been like the Levite and the priest, who passed by on the other side. There is a work for the church to do, which, if left undone, will bring darkness upon them. The church as a whole and individually should bring their motives under faithful examination and compare their lives with the life and teachings of the only correct Pattern. Christ regards all acts of mercy, benevolence, and thoughtful consideration for the unfortunate, the blind, the lame, the sick, the widow, and the orphan as done to Himself; and these works are preserved in the heavenly records and will be rewarded. On the other hand, a record will be written in the book against those who manifest the indifference of the priest and the Levite to the unfortunate, and those who take any advantage of the misfortunes of others and increase their affliction in order to selfishly advantage themselves. God will surely repay every act of injustice and every manifestation of careless indifference to and neglect of the afflicted among us. Everyone will finally be rewarded as his works have been. 3T 512.1
I was shown in regard to Brother E that he has not been dealt justly with by his brethren. Brethren F, G, and others pursued a course toward him which was displeasing to God. Brother F had no special interest in Brother E, only so far as he thought he could advantage himself through him. I was shown that some looked upon Brother E as being penurious and dishonest. God is displeased with this judgment. Brother E would have had no trouble and would have had means to abundantly sustain himself had it not been for the selfish course of his brethren who had eyesight and property, and who worked against him by seeking to turn his abilities to their own selfish interest. Those who take advantage of the hard study of a blind man and seek to benefit themselves with his inventions, commit robbery and are virtually commandment breakers. 3T 513.1
There are some in the church who profess to be keeping the law of Jehovah, but who are transgressors of that law. There are men who do not discern their own defects. They possess a selfish, penurious spirit and blind their own eyes to their sin of covetousness, which the Bible defines as idolatry. Men of this character may have been esteemed by their brethren as most exemplary Christians; but the eye of God reads the heart and discerns the motives. He sees that which man cannot see in the thoughts and character. In His providence He brings these persons into positions which will in time reveal the defects in their character, that if they wish to see and correct them they can do so. There are some who have all their lives studied their own interest and been swallowed up in their own selfish plans and who have been anxious to advantage themselves without much thought whether others would be distressed or perplexed by any plans or actions of theirs. Selfish interest overbears mercy and the love of God. The Lord sometimes permits this class to go on in their selfish course in spiritual blindness until their defects are apparent to all who have spiritual discernment and they evidence by their works that they are not genuine Christians. 3T 513.2Read in context »
Here Jesus wished to teach His disciples the moral obligations which are binding upon man to his fellow man. Whoever neglects to carry out the principles illustrated by this lesson is not a commandment keeper, but, like the Levite, he breaks the law of God which he pretends to revere. There are some, who, like the Samaritan, make no pretensions to exalted piety, yet who have a high sense of their obligations to their fellow men and have far more charity and kindness than some who profess great love to God, but fail in good works toward His creatures. 4T 57.1
Those truly love their neighbor as themselves who realize their responsibilities and the claims that suffering humanity has upon them, and carry out the principles of God's law in their daily lives. “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering 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 neighbor as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” Christ here shows the lawyer that to love God with all the heart and our neighbor as ourselves is the true fruit of piety. “This do,” said He, not merely believe but do, “and thou shalt live.” It is not alone the professed belief in the binding claims of God's law that makes the Christian, but also the carrying out of that law. 4T 57.2
In the parable, Christ exalts the Samaritan above the priest and the Levite, who were great sticklers for the letter of the law of Ten Commandments. The one obeyed the spirit of these commandments, while the others were content to profess an exalted faith in them; but what is faith without works? When the advocates of the law of God plant their feet firmly upon its principles, showing that they are not merely loyal in name but loyal at heart, carrying out in their daily lives the spirit of God's commandments, and exercising true benevolence to man, then will they have moral power to move the world. It is impossible for those who profess allegiance to the law of God to correctly represent the principles of that sacred Decalogue while slighting its holy injunctions to love their neighbor as themselves. 4T 58.1Read in context »
In their action, as Christ had described it, the lawyer saw nothing contrary to what he had been taught concerning the requirements of the law. But now another scene was presented: DA 503.1
A certain Samaritan, in his journey, came where the sufferer was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. He did not question whether the stranger was a Jew or a Gentile. If a Jew, the Samaritan well knew that, were their condition reversed, the man would spit in his face, and pass him by with contempt. But he did not hesitate on account of this. He did not consider that he himself might be in danger of violence by tarrying in the place. It was enough that there was before him a human being in need and suffering. He took off his own garment with which to cover him. The oil and wine provided for his own journey he used to heal and refresh the wounded man. He lifted him on his own beast, and moved slowly along with even pace, so that the stranger might not be jarred, and made to suffer increased pain. He brought him to an inn, and cared for him through the night, watching him tenderly. In the morning, as the sick man had improved, the Samaritan ventured to go on his way. But before doing this, he placed him in the care of the innkeeper, paid the charges, and left a deposit for his benefit; and not satisfied even with this, he made provision for any further need, saying to the host, “Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” DA 503.2
The story ended, Jesus fixed His eyes upon the lawyer, in a glance that seemed to read his soul, and said, “Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers?” Luke 10:36, R. V. DA 503.3Read in context »
The Nature of True Religion Illustrated—In the story of the good Samaritan, Christ illustrates the nature of true religion. He shows that it consists not in systems, creeds, or rites, but in the performance of loving deeds, in bringing the greatest good to others, in genuine goodness.... The lesson is no less needed in the world today than when it fell from the lips of Jesus. Selfishness and cold formality have well-nigh extinguished the fire of love and dispelled the graces that should make fragrant the character. Many who profess His name have lost sight of the fact that Christians are to represent Christ. Unless there is practical self-sacrifice for the good of others, in the family circle, in the neighborhood, in the church, and wherever we may be, then whatever our profession we are not Christians.—The Desire of Ages, 497, 504. WM 42.1
Who Is My Neighbor?—Among the Jews the question, “Who is my neighbor?” caused endless dispute. They had no doubt as to the heathen and the Samaritans. These were strangers and enemies. But where should the distinction be made among the people of their own nation, and among the different classes of society? Whom should the priest, the rabbi, and elder, regard as neighbor? They spent their lives in the round of ceremonies to make themselves pure. Contact with the ignorant and careless multitude, they taught, would cause defilement that would require wearisome effort to remove. Were they to regard the “unclean” as neighbors? WM 42.2Read in context »