Come Follow Me LDS- Apr 22-28 Pt 2, Matthew 18, Luke 10

‘The Road to Jericho, Mary & Martha’

– Background to the Good Samaritan Parable


Raw Transcript


What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life” Part 2


all right in this episode we’re going to

talk about the road to Jericho and Mary

and Martha in a way you probably haven’t

heard before here we go alright so

continuing on from our last episode in

Luke 10 the 70 have reconvened with

Jesus and he is teaching them and

teaching other disciples and maybe

another non group of non disciples that

are there and he’s dispensing all this

wisdom and going over parables and

teachings and talking about him and the

father and a certain lawyer comes up to

him to tempt him

so here all these teachings are coming

out and now they want to trap him we’ve

seen these types of scenarios many times

not just here but you see it all the

time in our own lives right where

someone’s just trying to trick someone

or make them stumble on something and

so this lawyer stands up and says master

what shall I do to inherit eternal life

so there’s zero sincerity in his

question he just wants to hear what he

is going to say and Jesus says what is

written in the law how Rita stout of

course this is all the law of Moses and

this is a lawyer a lawyer would be

someone who would be who would know the

law of Moses very well and the lawyer

answers and says 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 so he sums it up really well

write all the law and the prophets are

kind of there under this as Jesus has

taught previously and so Jesus says to

him thou has to answer

right this do and thou shalt live

perhaps meaning this do and you’ll have

eternal life and so the lawyer retorts

here he comes back to him and he says

okay but who is my neighbor right this

is a very sticky question for them

because they are surrounded again

especially in Galilee they’re surrounded

by a lot of different types of people

the Jews are a minority in Galilee and

of course Jerusalem is a center where

there would be a lot of other peoples

that are there as well but in Galilee

especially the Jews are a minority what

are one of the largest groups that are

in Galilee it’s the Samaritans that are

there and again for you to go from

Galilee down to Jerusalem through the

shortest path you’d be going right

through Samaria the area of the

Samaritans at that point and the

Samaritans are reviled by the Jews

overall and so Jesus answers with a

parable a very famous parable here and

this is the parable of the Good

Samaritan and we’re going to dig a little

deeper into this parable and try and get

some context and richness out of it and

understand it a little better and Jesus

answering the lawyer said a certain man

went down from Jerusalem to Jericho now

a little bit of background on this that

would be important so he’s going down

from Jerusalem to Jericho it says now

Jericho is actually northeast of

Jerusalem but the reason that they say

down is because Jerusalem is about 2,500

feet above sea level and 18 miles away

in Jericho it is about 1,800 feet below

sea level we’re talking a very arid

desert area and so it’s kind of like

Jericho’s basically an oasis in the

desert but you would be going down it’s

quite a descent over that those 18 miles

to travel down about 4,300 feet down in

in altitude

and so we might imagine this parable

taking place maybe more toward the

Jericho side where things are drier

there’s no trees the trees disappear

there’s only maybe desert shrubs and it

would be a not a very bountiful

place but he says he’s going to travel down

to Jericho now in the past when the

Kingdom of Israel existed which is kind

of the heritage of the Samaritans

they’re a mixture of Jews and Samaritans

and other Gentiles that would have mixed

into this group and they’re kind of the

descendants of those peoples and in the

past of people of Israel the Northern

Kingdom which sometimes fight with the

kingdom of Judah which is the one that’s

left over here with Jerusalem but

sometimes they were fighting against

each other and when during the reign of

King Ahab the Northern Kingdom Israel

prevailed in war against Judah and they

took many prisoners from Judah and

took them up into the north but a

certain prophet in the North said that

they needed to treat them right and to

let them go and so they anointed

them with oil they clothed them they put

shoes on them for those that were too

feeble they put them on donkeys and they

brought them back down in very good

condition taken care of to Jericho and

so there’s some history there of the

northern kingdom treating the Jews those

are the Jews very well right and

bringing them to Jericho so that’s a

little bit of a backdrop the second

thing to look at in this road to Jericho

is that it is infamous for bandits and

so it’s a it’s actually called the

road of ascent or the red road of

ascent something more or less like that

and now partially because of the red

rock but also because of the blood

that was spilt on this road so you would

have to travel with guards or you’d have

trouble in a large group but it wouldn’t

be very smart to travel alone

necessarily because of all the bandits

that are on this road and the priest and

the Levite that are travelling here in

the parable would have been coming

probably from the Temple in Jerusalem

back to Jericho which was a temple of

Prayer a village of priests were a lot

of priests there so coming back from the

temple experience and serving in the

temple and going down to Jericho and

that’s where we pick up here so a

certain man went down from Jerusalem to

Jericho and fell among thieves these

highway men which stripped him of his

raiment and wounded him and departed

leaving him half dead okay not a far off

scenario here this probably happened all

the time and in 3rd and in verse 31 and

by chance there came down a certain

priest that way and when he saw him he

passed by on the other side I’ve heard

sometimes that this would be a purity

issue for the priest that he wouldn’t be

able to touch him and that’s possible

but he is coming not going to the temple

he’s coming from the temple so it seems

in this example that the Jesus is saying

implying that the priests should have

helped that it would not have been a

purity issue for him and so the priest

passes him right by just served in the

temple but he’s going to leave the man

there on the road and likewise a Levite

when he was at the place came and looked

on him and passed by on the other side

so now a Levite who would also likely

have been serving in the temple is on

his way to Jericho and he passes him

right by now a Levite is actually given

the responsibility of medical care and

so they would be ones that would be

nurses or physicians that would actually

help people they would have been trained

in this and used to helping people out

but here the Levite passes right by the

man and then in verse 33 our third

example here

but a certain Samaritan as he journeyed

now we’ll take a pause here with the

Jews there are three types there

people are classified into three groups

and they still do this today in

synagogue and that would be the Kohanim

which are the priests and then secondly

after them would be the labium which are

the Levites and then third would be the

asylum which are the Israelites and

that’s just the commoners that’s

everybody else right would be an

Israelite and so for example in

synagogue you might have a certain call

to read something from the Torah or to

do something in the synagogue it would

first be given to the priests secondly

then to the Levites and then third to

the Israelites the everybody else

and so those are the three groups so the

people in the crowd here that are

listening to Jesus for that third person

we just have the example of the priest

then the Levite the third person what

they would expect to hear would be

Israelite would be the next person but

he of course is flipping this on its

head and he says instead and then came a

certain Samaritan

so not Israelite but a certain Samaritan

as he journeyed came where he was and

when he saw him he had compassion on him

and went to him and bound up his wounds

now remember the question here that the

lawyer asks Jesus is who is my neighbor

that’s the point of the parable and the

last thing he wants to hear likely is

the Samaritan but he went to him and

bound up his wounds pouring in oil and

wine and set him on his way on his Beast

and brought him to an inn and took care

of him and on the morrow when he

departed he took out two pence now that

would be two days a pence would be a

laborers wage each day but Joseph Smith

here actually puts in just he puts in

money says it’s just money and gave them

to the host and said unto him take care

of him and whatsoever thou spendest more

or when I come again I will repay thee

and so here’s the scenario the people

that you hate that are all around you

and that are here that are really your

neighbors right are the ones that have

helped out the man here on the road to

Jericho and not the priests and not the

Levite so the question then Jesus asks

is which now of these three thinkest

thou was neighbor unto him that fell

among the thieves well what’s he going

to answer at this point and he said he

that showed mercy on him then said Jesus

unto Him go and do like what do that

likewise so the parable is set up in an

answer to the question of who is your

neighbor and here in their culture it

has been defined and we have rabbinical

teachings from this time that say look

you can’t contrive the death of someone

who’s not a Jew but if someone is dying

or is not you know you have zero

responsibility of taking care of anybody

who is a Gentile who you know anybody

who’s not a Jew that was the belief at

the time those were the teachings the

rabbinical teachings at the time so

saying look you don’t have to help

someone who’s laying on the on the side

of the road on the road to Jericho if

they’re a Gentile you wouldn’t you

wouldn’t touch them but and you zero

responsibility to do so

but Jesus here is saying your neighbor

the one that you are responsible for

helping is could be a Samaritan or it

could be somebody that you need to help

of course the man that was on the side

of the road could have been a Samaritan

right or it could have been it could

have been a Jew it doesn’t matter

the neighbor is the person that helped

out right the person the neighbor is the

person that helped out and so through a

brilliant response by Jesus with this

parable he basically gives the lawyer no

other way to answer but then to say it

was the Samaritan that helped out and


for contrary to the current belief the

Samaritans are our neighbors or can be

our neighbors just like anybody else

but we go back and remember what the

lawyer had said about these two laws

basically right these two things that

everything falls under one is to first

love God with all thy heart might mind

and strength basically and then to love

your neighbor and elsewhere in the

Gospels we get love your neighbor as

yourself right love others as yourself

do unto others as you would have them do

unto you is the golden rule so one thing

I think about with this parable is that

in this instance where there are tribes

so to speak right where there are

differences different religions

different races different traditions and

cultures different geographies is this

completely breaks that down and

regardless of someone else if they’re

different from you if they have

different beliefs from you if they have

a different background a different

religion they’re your neighbor and

that’s how we should treat them and do

unto our neighbors as we would be have

things done unto us and I think that’s a

great teaching here that he gives the

lawyer and goes against everything that

the current culture there is trying to

teach the people Jesus is very much in

these teachings and in these parables

trying to turn everything on its head

because it’s all upside down and here in

this specific teaching he’s breaking

down these barriers so that we love

everyone and this is another part of not

specifically his mission but it

certainly was of the church soon after

him but that is to go to the Gentiles

and it’s not the gospel here the

priesthood the temple everything is not

just for the Jews right the gospel is

for everyone then Jesus after giving the

parable here Luke has him going down

basically to Bethany it says a village

but this is going to be Bethany and here

we get the story that we’ve heard many

times before

especially the women about Mary and

Martha this has been told so many times

that it’s kind of it seems to me

developed into its own story it has its

own personality and its own facts even

sometimes that I hear I just was hearing

listening to someone commentating on

this that started talking about some

things that don’t exist in the story at

all and so I want to cover this a little

bit I have a different take on this


then maybe you’ve heard before and I’ll

back that up but I want to give you a

little bit of a different take but first

let’s kind of go through it and talk

about what traditionally anyway we think

of about this story of Mary and Martha

right so Jesus and it would have been

his disciples so it could have been a

large group that were with him come to

Bethany and says here in verse 38 now it

came to pass as they went that he

entered into a certain village Bethany

and a certain woman named Martha

received him into her house and she had

a sister called Mary which also sat at

Jesus feet and heard his word so we’re

getting the set up here between the

differences between Mary and Martha Mary

is sitting at the feet to listen to

Jesus and we get this idea of just her

there it could have been a lot of

disciples that were there listening to

him it could have been outside this

could have been in a larger room this

could we don’t know but verse 40 it says

but Martha was cumbered about much

serving in other words she’s distracted

by serving certain tasks and came to him

and said Lord dust thou not care that my

sister has left me to serve alone bid

her therefore that she help me

okay so we’re kind of getting in in our

mind the picture that we’ve always had

running of this video in our minds about

this story and Jesus answered and said

unto her Martha

thou art careful and troubled about many


but one thing is needful and Mary hath

chosen that good part which shall not be

taken away from her so what is the

lesson here between Mary and Martha and

I’ve heard a number of women say well am

i Mary or am i Martha or you know which

one of these women am I or which one you

know it sounds like I want to be more

like Mary who is more spiritual and

Martha and they said these are the terms

that you hear over and over again is

more practical and task-driven

and Mary is more spiritual so there is

definitely a solid teaching in that

example of putting first things first

right of again our values hierarchy what

is most important Martha certainly is

doing something important it sounds like

and but Mary seems to be doing something

more important where she is listening at

the feet of the Savior and so we can

look at this example traditionally as

we’ve heard it as the higher and the

lower laws we have two goods that are in

here but one good is better than the

other good is how we might look at that

and I think that’s typically how its

taught where Martha is tending to things

as the hostess here at her home that

would be important and Mary is not and

usually the pictures or the

paintings of her would be with her kind

of sitting on the floor looking up at

Jesus and listening to him teach and to

speak which is great but which one are


are you a Mary and this is guys – are

you a Mary or are you a Martha is is

usually the question it helps us keep

our priorities straight and helps us

learn more about that good better and

best we’ve heard about in General

Conference previously but I want to give

a different take on this and I want to

do it through two different ways number

one is going to be through scriptural

context and what I mean by that is we

have other examples of Mary and Martha

right and so let’s go to the

and then number two I want to do it

through the principle that I talk about

often of authorship and in that example

of authorship we learned something a

little bit different here as to why this

story is told right now and not in

another context or at another time and

it’s not that it didn’t happen now but

it’s Luke the author of the Gospel that

is inserting it right in this place so

let’s talk first about the context that

we would have with Mary and Martha and

help us you know fill in the puzzle

pieces here a little bit more maybe

first of all we this is the first we

hear of Mary and Martha in in Bethany

but we know something about Bethany and

that is that it is a place of refuge a

City of Refuge it is a place for the

poor to go to it basically means more

than likely there’s some different

interpretations but most people agree

that the meaning of the word Bethany

the Nate place named Bethany is

basically a place of the poor or City of

the poor and it would be for those that

are looking for refuge or the sick and

afflicted that would all go in there and

in one of the I think it’s the first

Easter episode that I did called Palm

Sunday I basically said this is a place

for Limassol gobbed right this is where

all the miserable zko and where they

might need tending to

and it’s a place where they can come

together so it’s very likely very

possibly a religious center it is also

the place where Jesus and His disciples

as they come down from Galilee here

would have stopped and others from

Galilee Galileans would have all likely

stopped on this route to Bethany where

they can avoid Samaria the Samaritans

they would come down to Bethany here on

the east side of Jerusalem and stop

there first which it’s about a mile and

a half to two miles outside of the city

walls of Jerusalem and so there’s

traffic that comes here all the time and

Jesus has spent a lot of time here he

may have spent time here when he was a


and Joseph and Mary may have brought him

through Bethany many times and he may

have known Lazarus and Mary and Martha

they’re all siblings since he was a

little kid for all we know and it seems

like they’re in some type of a position

here of respect and maybe control even

in Bethany says that later on when

Lazarus dies then a lot a number of

the Jews came from Jerusalem to comfort

basically and console’ Mary and Martha

well why would they do that

see there’s connections there and so

that’s one thing to understand is where

they’re at which has had Bethany the

other thing to know is that later on

when Jesus comes to Bethany there are a

couple of examples of women being Mary

and Martha and at least another woman

that’s I unidentified it could be one of

them that happens there in Bethany and

the first example would be as they’re in

Bethany and Jesus is about to come in on

on the donkey where all the palms are

thrown down before him as he makes the

procession up to the Jerusalem he stops

there in Bethany and Mary just as is

kind of pointed out here Mary is at his

feet and she anoints his feet and this

is kind of an anointing for Jesus to

beaten coming in as the king basically

and so she’s anointing him and she saves

some of the oil very expensive oil

but what do we hear about that oil

remember that Judas wanted to sell it

because it was very expensive oil and he

what he wanted to do was he said was

give it to the poor well the poor are

all around them right though this is the

City of Refuge the poor all around them

so he’s saying hey we could take that

sell it and give it out but the authors

of the gospel say basically Judas he’s

the one who kept the purse he’s the one

who held on to the money

and it likely would have been at least a

portion of that for him but the example

the response of Jesus is and I think

this is important the response of Jesus

is you always will have the poor with

you but me you will not right so keep

that in mind then later on another woman

anoints him it could be Mary again but

another woman unidentified anoints Jesus

for his burial so this is later in

Easter week takes the oil may be the

same from the same place takes the oil

and anoints him and again the same thing

is brought up why are we not giving this

selling this and giving this money to

the poor which again is all around them

and Jesus says same thing you know

you’ll always have the poor with you but

you mean you will not and then we have

the account of John which is that toward

the beginning of Easter week looks like

before the procession and he gives the

account also of the anointing and he

says that Mary is at his feet and

anoints his feet and but in this one he

says at this time that Martha serves so

she’s serving and he says specifically

that she’s serving supper so again you

might have a very large group of

disciples that are with him she’s maybe

in charge of all of this but in this

example it does say that she’s

specifically serving supper so these are

the examples that we have of women in

Bethany and maybe all of them are Mary

and Martha and they have to do with

selling the oil and taking care of the

poor but Jesus says I’m actually more

important than the poor that around

you right here so let’s go back now on

the second point that I was saying and

bring up authorship so here Luke is

going over some specific things the

seventy in Luke 10 here the 70 have come

back and the lawyer tries to entrap him

and Jesus gives the example of the

parable of the Good Samaritan but what

is the question that the

let’s go back to that the question was

how do I obtain eternal life and

the lawyer himself gives the answer that

you love the Lord with all your heart

might mind and strength and your

neighbor likewise more or less that is

the crux of what the message is from

Luke and here the story of Mary and

Martha are brought in right after this

question and the parable of the Good

Samaritan so we need to think about what

is Luke’s message here what is he trying

to get across why is it placed right

here at this point why are there no

other event or discussion that that’s in

here before this or why does he not

go off onto another tangent and if we

think about the question of how do I

obtain it to eternal life and what the

answer is then we look at the story of

Mary and Martha through different eyes

and in something where we get maybe a

little bit more focus on what the Lord

was trying to teach with this so if Mary

and Martha are in Bethany and it says

that Martha is serving well the Greek is

for serving is a word that also means

ministering it also means magnifying

your calling your stewardship it could

be helping others out people that are

have bad health you know that she’s

trying to help others out there remember

they have the poor all around them it

could also be that she’s helping all of

the disciples we get this idea where

it’s just Mary and Martha and Jesus and

there are no other actors in this

scenario but that wouldn’t have been the

case they have all of the poor and all

of the sick that are there with them in

Bethany and if Mary and Martha are used

to helping them and taking care of them

then that would be part of what Martha’s

service would regularly be the second

thing is if that’s not referring to

maybe helping the poor and the helpless

and the sick but service here might mean

helping out all of the disciples they

could have very well been helping them

out with

health issues in other words they just

had a long trip in traveling there could

be sprained ankles there could be dried

skin there could be a lot of hunger and

other things that would be going on so

she might be ministering unto them but

it says that she offers this service now

in John when Martha is serving it also

says the word serving and it

specifically says there she’s serving

supper this is a different time a

different event it uses a different word

which is kind of interesting that uses a

different word in Greek than the word

that is used in the example we’re

speaking of right now we’re where we

don’t know if she’s actually serving

supper and this is one of the things one

of those things that gets repeated over

and over and over again we don’t know

what is meant here by serving it might

be that she’s in the kitchen it might be

that she’s needing to cook dinner she’s

got some casserole going for everybody

but we don’t know that we don’t know

what was meant here by serving that is a

it’s completely an assumption here in

this in this story what we do know is

that Luke has been trying to get a point

across in this chapter and that is that

first you are to love God with all your

heart might mind and strength and second

you are to love your neighbor and so

instead of thinking of Martha as being

in the kitchen we can think of Martha as

serving either the poor and she needed

help in helping the poor that was around

her and she was asking Mary to come help

her or she may have been helping out all

of the disciples that were in this group

with Jesus and these would all be her

neighbors these would be her fellow men

and women and Jesus here is saying that

is really important to help your fellow

man but first and foremost as is in the

law we are to love God above all and

then secondly we love our neighbor and

that to me is the message

of the story of Mary and Martha and it

takes a little bit of the confusion out

of it I think because we wonder

sometimes while she was doing something

good but it was just not as good as

sitting at Jesus’s feet the point is to

love God first and then to love your

fellow man secondly I think that’s the

point of the story of Mary and Martha

I’ll talk to you next time

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.