Lesson Two


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Memory Verse: Luke 10:27
Further Study: Luke 10:25-37; The Desire of Ages, pp. 497-505; The Bible Story, vol. 8, pp. 108-111

I was home alone. My husband was traveling on an extended trip leaving me to manage the house. We are lovers of nature and enjoy feeding birds and squirrels on our back deck. Each morning I fill the various seed containers and throw out peanuts. On this particular morning as I went to do my task, I saw a mourning dove tucked in close to the sliding glass door. Assuming it was resting, I walked slowly toward the door. When it saw me, it instantly started fluttering in circles. Clearly one wing was injured.

I wanted to help the bird, but had no idea how.

I wanted to help the bird, but had no idea how. It was a hot day and there was no access to food or water where the bird finally had come to a stop. I managed to throw some seed out on the deck hoping to revive it and then snuck back into the house, placing myself as far away from the backyard as I could and began to pray for the little bird. I desperately wanted it to be stunned and simply fly away.

As I studied this week, I wasn’t sure what “new” I’d find in such a familiar parable. Yet as I read, it wasn’t something new, but a steady conviction in my own soul. I realized that while I had always put myself in the place of the good Samaritan, I actually might be more aligned with the priest or the Levite. My conviction came from a little bird that rested on my deck.

How often do I, in a world of sin and sadness, place myself as far away as I can, and pray. 

How often do I, in a world of sin and sadness, place myself as far away as I can, and pray. I don’t think I’m alone. We pray for healing, restitution, justice, or mercy, all while we sit in our homes or our pews feeling as if we are doing our part.

The lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” I, like the lawyer, appreciate a nice checklist. A checklist makes for easy Christianity. We believe we are saved because we’ve checked off a biblical checklist of Christian attributes. Yet Jesus didn’t answer the lawyer’s question directly. While the lawyer used the word “neighbor” as a noun, Jesus used it as a verb. The answer didn’t identify who our neighbor was but instead the response was to go out and “neighbor.” We are to “neighbor” people. We are to seek them out, tend their needs, and help them and in doing so allow them to see and feel the gospel.

That evening I gingerly went out to the deck to check on the bird. It was gone! I rejoiced and praised God. My prayers had been answered! But two days later as I refilled the seed containers and glanced below, I saw what was left of the bird. Apparently it had attempted to fly, fell, and someone made a meal of it. I realized then that sometimes prayer isn’t enough to save someone. It takes action.

Sometimes prayer isn’t enough to save someone. It takes action.

May I, along with everyone else, learn to “neighbor” and in doing so be renewed.

2024 Renew: Staying with Jesus Adult Devotional — Available now!

Book Two of the Renew series offers short, meaningful devotions that cover the life of David to the early years of Jesus’ ministry—just a few minutes to read, offering a new perspective of Scripture. Take a moment each week and be renewed.

  • Short devotions
  • Deeper understanding in just a few minutes
  • Suggestions for life application

A perfect gift for mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa! A must read that will make the Bible come alive. 


Digging Deeper 

An allegory is a story that reveals hidden meaning. Pilgrim’s Progress is an example where a story is told that holds deeper spiritual meaning. While Jesus told this story as a parable (one single idea) some have applied deeper meaning to each piece of the story. While Mrs. White reveals that the actions of the good Samaritan demonstrate Christ’s care for us, as early as the second century, others applied further meaning. While we don’t accept all these it is interesting to view it from another perspective. Look at this list, and then re-read the parable to see how one might arrive at such a viewpoint.

  • Adam coming from Paradise represents the man who fell among thieves coming from Jerusalem
  • Jericho represents the world
  • Robbers represent evil powers 
  • Priest represents the law
  • Levite represents prophets
  • Samaritan represents Christ
  • Wounds represents disobedience
  • Donkey represents the body of Christ
  • Inn represents the church
  • Two denarii represents the Father and Son
  • Promise of the Samaritan to return represents the second coming of Jesus

Making it Real

This week how can you use “neighbor” as a verb?



Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being a grandmother to two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus, and a granddaughter, who’s delighting everyone with her smiles. She is blessed to have all three living close by, continually bringing joy and delight.


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