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Sermon Notes: 3/3/24

"Are You INN?"

Pastor Eric Dammeyer


I’m Pastor Eric and today we’re continuing in our series from the book of Luke.


We’re starting with a parable in Luke 10.


So, what is a parable?  A parable is a fictional story.

It is fictional, because it is an account of something that didn’t actually happen, it’s fiction.  It is not an eyewitness report!


But it teaches about things that do actually happen, have happened before, surely will happen and may be happening right now.  It is a fictional story told to teach us about things that are actually true.


A parable is given to teach us a virtue, or add moral values to our life.


Here’s your first fill-in-the-blank:

A parable is a fictional story, given to teach principles that are actually true.


And our Jesus loved to teach about the kingdom of God using… parables!


Among Jesus’ most famous teachings is the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.


  • The parable of the Good Samaritan is so appealing and so famous it is used all over the whole world.

  • It’s copied by many human philosophies.

  • It is loved, agreed with, and repeated by people who aren’t even Christians.

  • It is considered to be universally true! (Except for a few soreheads)

  • The term “Good Samaritan” is used all the time in many languages to refer to what happens when a stranger or a bystander acts to save someone in trouble.

  • Many states have laws labeled as “Good Samaritan Laws” which protect people from any liability if they try a rescue attempt but something goes wrong.


But, for you and I today, I pray the Holy Spirit will shine a light on an aspect of this famous parable that we may never have noticed before now.

And here’s a spoiler alert: There’s actually more than one rescuer in the story. 


I’m also excited about this parable because it is very timely for what Motion Church is currently going through (that’s you and me).


What am I talking about? Look around you: We are growing in leaps and bounds.

We are considering what will happen when our new building opens. We have three services, each one is growing!


The teachings we receive here are so solid. The fellowship we have and studies of our D-groups are growing us as a church and as individuals.

Our children’s church is full and awesome!

This church building is occupied every day of the week!


Motion Church has always been a generous church to our community.

Generous giving is baked into our culture.

If you have been to the connect tent or on our website, you should have seen

our Philosophy and Vision Statement, which includes that


  • Generosity is Our Nature and

  • Compassion is Our Heart.


That is,

  • Generosity is Our Nature ( because it is what we do) and

  • Compassion is Our Heart. (which is why we do it). 


And we say: We Come in to Go Back Out!  This doesn’t mean we are a drive through!

This means that we come together for healing, for fellowship, but we stay for growth and we stay to find out who we are in Jesus.   


Acts 17:28 says,

For in Him we live and move and have our being. For we are also His children.

Acts 17:28


Motion is the House of our Father. Jesus is the door.

The Holy Spirit is our Teacher and Our Wonderful Counselor.


We come in to go back out bringing the good news of Jesus to the world, Amen?


So, I think it’s fair to say that our destiny is well underway. Amen?


Let’s give God a handclap of praise in His house today!


  • I want to share with you about something that happened to me last year because it applies to the message God has given to me for you today.

  • Most of you know I have survived and recovered from a heart condition. I had major surgery last summer.

  • My wife Debra and I want to express our gratitude to so many in this church who prayed for me and for her last year. Many painful and difficult hours in the hospital were answered by many fervent, powerful and loving prayers,

helping us both to get through it. And we have.

  • My experience started with a trip to the doctors’ office. I never made it.

  • My drive from Oriental ended in the Handi-Mart in Bridgeton.

(not my doctor’s office)

  • I was suddenly so very sick I thought I was actually dying, so I called 911.

  • I stayed on the phone with a dispatcher who calmed me down until 2 ambulances arrived in 3 minutes. 

  • I was literally rescued by a tiny community of trained and highly equipped people (No, not the staff at the Handi-Mart) The ambulance crew.

  • I was given emergency treatment on the spot and then delivered to a place of healing and safety. I was literally rescued by professional Good Samaritans.


In my Bible, at Luke 10:25, there’s a title inserted: The Parable of the Good Samaritan


But strangely, the parable doesn’t start there.

The parable of the Good Samaritan doesn’t start where it says “The Parable of the Good Samaritan”! WHY?

Well, the parable is the main point, but in order to really get the point of it,

we need to know WHY Jesus told the parable!


This is an example of why we need to always be careful to read the Word in context so that we can see the full intentions of the Holy Spirit’s message.

The Bible is not just a good quote, we always need to know: what was the point?

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is not just another Super Bowl Ad!


I believe the Word of God is bottomless, always blessing us with something new to understanding. A dose of wisdom; not just for philosophers… for MY LIFE, Amen?


We’ll start at verse 25. One day an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. Luke 10:25


(Lawyers have been coming at Jesus like flies in a bayou) This is their latest attack.


This is also the prequel to the parable of the Good Samaritan:

The reason Jesus told it!

So a lawyer stands up to test Jesus. (laugh) He has no idea!

So… in those days, the lawyers are also religious leaders. Is that weird or what?

And “The Law” is not what we think of as ‘the law’. It was the first 5 books of the OT!

The lawyers then weren’t just men in suits following ambulances!  

They were teachers of the Word, AND community leaders, AND political leaders.

So this guy was a heavy hitter.   He is their Patrick Mahomes!


One day an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus.

“Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?”

The lawyer answered, “ ‘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 ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus said. “Do this and you will live.” Luke 10:25-28

Let’s leave that up here a bit…(Tech)


Notice…what he asked Jesus: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” DO?


Do you notice, ladies: here’s another man who wants to know what he should DO!

Inherit? Here is a religious person who thinks he’s heaven bound thru breeding!


This EXPERT in the law replies to Jesus by reciting something.

He learned it as a boy. See, as a Jewish man, educated in the Torah, he had repeated THIS constantly throughout his life, from childhood. He’s recited it by memory 1,000’s of times in his whole life.  He has it so well-memorized he can recite it word-for-word WITHOUT THINKING…


Most of us can recite the pledge of allegiance pretty much from memory…I pledge…

We can RECITE IT even while looking out the window while doing it.

Maybe we can recite the Lord’s prayer that way from memory: “Our Father, Who Art in Heaven… in the King James even!


Jesus said the lawyer had “correctly” recited the Law back to Him.

How many of you know that you can know the right words but still not get the point?


Jesus is going to teach this “EXPERT in the law” something very, very radical.

The TRUTH in the word.


So, when Jesus asked “What is written in the Law?”

Jesus knew this “expert in the law” had a BIG problem!


“Dude, you can say it correctly,” Jesus was saying. “How about doing it, …THEN you will live.” And…what is IT?


Do you LOVE the Lord your God?

Do you LOVE the Lord your God WITH ALL your soul?

Do you LOVE the Lord your God WITH ALL your strength? and

Do you LOVE the Lord your God WITH ALL your mind? AND! AND! AND!

Do you LOVE your neighbor as yourself?


What is this saying that the lawyer recited to Jesus in Luke 10?  Where was it from?

The lawyer and Jesus were talking about a saying, which actually comes from the Word of God. It is what Jewish believers call the “Shema”:


And here’s your first fill-in-the-blanks:


The “SHEMA”

Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is One.  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These words I am commanding you today are to be written upon your hearts….and you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. Deut. 6:4–7  & Lev. 19:18b


God gave these words to His people well over 3000 years ago.

Even 1,000 years before this lawyer met Jesus and recited it.

SHEMA is the Hebrew word that means “Hear!”. (O, Israel”)

Every lawyer, every priest, every Levite and every man who believed in Jehovah God would memorize and recite the SHEMA.

These words were actually sung every day in synagogues all over Israel.

These words were taught by Jesus…over 2,000 years ago!

Today, these words are still sung every Sabbath day in synagogues ‘round the world…


In the New Testament, Jesus also calls the SHEMA the ‘Royal Law’!

Jesus says the SHEMA is the greatest of all God’s laws…

Jesus said ALL of the Words of God depend upon the foundation of the SHEMA.

The SHEMA is the G.O.A.T.!


After Jesus told the lawyer he was right about the Greatest of all the laws, that the lawyer had said the right words!  Jesus begins to teach him that

he MISSED THE POINT!


Let me show you what happened: Luke 10:29 goes on to say,


“But wanting to justify himself, the man asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Luke 10:29


There it is! When the lawyer asked “And who is my neighbor?” he showed the problem in his heart.


Jesus taught him with a parable.  Jesus is teaching us with a parable:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan.


“A man was going down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.

Luke 10:30


Isn’t THIS human history?!  The same stuff is in the news, everywhere, every day.

We experience it in our lives, everywhere, every day.

There’s always that place in every community: The road to Jericho.

There are places each community that if you just name the place, people know what you mean.


The “Road to Jericho” was famous for this kind of tragedy.

Ancient writers wrote about this road from Jerusalem to Jericho. It was notorious!

Bands of robbers claimed it as their ‘hood. Bandits would steal the clothes off your back. They’d beat you for being different. They’d leave you lying there, half-dead.


In our lives, many of us have tried traveling the road to Jericho, know what I mean?  We had plans, we were going somewhere. On our way to somewhere, we were told,

Just don’t go by way of the road to Jericho…but….that one time….I took a short-cut.

I got the wrong directions.

It wasn’t long before I was overcome by robbers.

People who stole the clothes off my back also beat me and left me half-dead.

They left me lying there in the road of my life.


And…how often were the robbers who beat us and left us for dead

  • people who were supposed to be our companions

  • people who we were traveling down the road to Jericho with us


What happens next in the parable is maybe …THE WORST PART!


Now by chance a priest was going down the same road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

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

Luke 10:31-32


And don’t you know, but sometimes the worst is that when we were ambushed on the road to Jericho

  • The people who should have helped us,

  • They didn’t rob us, they didn’t beat us,

  • They didn’t leave us for dead

  • Someone else did all that!

  • But instead…they…. just…. ‘passed by on the other side.’


But something else happens in the story. Show them the next slide, please:


But when a Samaritan on a journey came upon him, he looked at him and had compassion. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Luke 10:33-34


The priest who passed by hadn’t known him, the Levite didn’t know him either, and the Samaritan didn’t know who he was,

And all three of them could see him lying there! Stripped and beaten! Half-dead!

But only the Samaritan SAW him…


All three of them were also on the road to Jericho

  • But only the Samaritan had compassion on him.

  • The Samaritan didn’t ask any questions

  • It wasn’t convenient for him,

  • he had someplace to go

  • He don’t know his story

But he didn’t say “I’ll pray for you, brother” and walk away… like the rest…


With this parable, Jesus takes aim at the cold heart of this expert of the Law,

This conceited, pious person, this terribly mistaken expert…. Bullseye!


Jesus hit the mark on the man who could recite the Shema “correctly”

Jesus exposed the truth: the expert couldn’t DO what God’s Word said he should do!

…the expert couldn’t understand the WHY …He couldn’t SHEMA…He couldn’t HEAR!


He could not love all his neighbors, just the one’s he liked.

Unless the man by the road was one of those he approved of,

He just wanted to pass on by.


Compare that to what happened when the Samaritan came along

(Here is your next fill-in-the-blanks):


But when a Samaritan on a journey came upon him, he looked at him and had compassion. Luke 10:33


  • It says he looked at that man: the phrase “looked at” doesn’t just mean he used his eyes

  • It means to spiritually see, to see with understanding.


We don’t know anything about the poor beaten man in the parable.

We don’t know his name, we don’t know his background.

We don’t know what kind of character he had. Neither did the Good Samaritan!

We don’t know his ethnicity or race, his religion, whether he was of high moral character or low, whether he was in a happy time of his life or a sad and troubled man.

Neither did the Good Samaritan!

What did he know?


All the Good Samaritan knew was the condition of the man right in front of him, a fellow human being, who was devastated. (Your next fill-in-the-blanks)


The Samaritan saw this man’s distress:


  • he saw him but also he had compassion upon him

  • Having compassion means “to suffer with someone”

  • (remember the Secret Ingredient?)

  • The Samaritan was thinking

  • I have been there; or

  • l have no idea what that man has gone through; or

  • There but for the grace of God go I, ….

  • Or just plain He… needs… help.


See, the SHEMA isn’t about doing anything religious.

  • No need to sacrifice animals. No special garments to wear. No rituals will do!

  • Here’s what the Samaritan did: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself!”


The Samaritan was someone the lawyer would LOOK DOWN upon!

But the Samaritan was willing to LOOK UP and then DO the Royal Law of God!


Don’t Look Down, Look Up!


In Matthew 9:13, Jesus said something to another expert:

But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ (Matt. 9:13a)


Jesus is showing us what the Good Samaritan did for the man he didn’t know:

(your next fill-in-the-blanks)

  

The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he carried him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. Luke 10:34


And remember I said at the beginning that there was more than one hero in this story?


Look what it says: “he carried him on his own animal, and brought him to what?

A Handi-Mart?

A Hospital?

No… to an inn:

  • The Samaritan placed the man with people that he trusted to care for his recovery.

  • He spent the first night taking care of the man with his team at the Inn.

  • The Samaritan had somewhere to go.  He had responsibilities elsewhere.

  • So the Samaritan left the man in the care of people who he knew were ready and willing to help.


Now let’s get this personal to us.

You know, in Jesus’ day, they didn’t have hospitals or ambulances,…No Handi-Marts! But the point of the parable applies exactly the same to us today.

In those days, the only help was found in an inn:


  • A “public house”, was a place of refuge, staffed with people whose roles (Listen: they had roles) at the Inn. They provided shelter and care for others,

  • It was a “public household”: a place of refuge, staffed with people would provide clothing, food, and accommodation to the lost.


It wasn’t a “No Tell Motel”, it wasn’t a swanky hotel.  It was a public house.

And it definitely was not merely about any kind of building.

Can you see that the “Inn” was not just a building, but the people in it.

They used their building to do what? To BE there!

You’ve got to be there to love your neighbor as yourself. Ready! And Willing!


And here’s the last fill-in-the-blank: It is the Title of this sermon:


ARE YOU INN?


And we’re going to finish this parable at Luke 10:35


The next day he took out two days’ wages and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he said, ‘and on my return I will repay you for any additional expense.’

Luke 10:35

Do you think the Innkeeper and the people who worked there were strangers, unknown to the Samaritan?  Otherwise, who would do that?

The Samaritan didn’t do all this by himself, he had people! It started with him, but the people of the Inn became part of the rescue.

There is more than one rescuer in the story!

The Samaritan brought the man to healing and restoration by bringing him first aid,

Himself!  But then took him to an inn full of rescuers. An inn, full of Good Samaritans.  An inn, full of heroes.

Finally, Jesus turned to the lawyer, the “expert in the law” and asked him:

Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?

‘The one who showed him mercy,’ replied the expert in the law.

Then Jesus told him, Go and do likewise.    Luke 10:36-37


Shema Motion Church! HEAR, O Motion Church!


  • When we come across the devastated man, woman or child

  • Don’t just pass by

  • Give a dose of first-aid: give that person some hope

  • Invite them to our Inn

  • Carry them... to our inn!

  • Spend time bringing them the Spirit you have to minister to their spiritual wounds

  • Everyone can afford compassion!

  • Entrust them for the care our church ministries and pastors have to give

  • Tithe your time to the Inn for their continued care, if you can.


Just don’t pass them by!

Just don’t ever say, “I’ll pray for you” and walk away!


So this caused me to remember my own story of being rescued by Bridgeton’s First Responders. I was on the road to Jericho…I mean Bridgeton…. I mean New Bern.  Whatever!  I thought I was dying.

But when the ambulance came for me:

  • They didn’t care who I was.

  • They looked at me with understanding

  • they had compassion upon me

  • they performed emergency care for me

  • they put me on their beast and

  • they brought me to an inn.


And there, in the hospital, weeks later, as I was recovering from surgery,

I saw something new…all this… in the Parable of the Good Samaritan!


I’m going to ask the Praise and Worship Team to Come up as I close…


…with one more story. Only this one isn’t a parable:


Before I met Debra, I had gone through the lowest points of my life. I had traveled down the road to Jericho too many times.  I had been set upon by robbers –more than once.

I had been beaten, stripped of happiness, and left for dead by some people, in many situations.


And a lot of people crossed the road and passed me by on the other side.


In my midnight hour, when I was lost and without hope. A Good Samaritan reached out to me!


His name was Jesus:

  • Jesus saw me, lying on the road, beaten and robbed. Left for dead.

  • Jesus knew I had also sent myself into the darkness on that road to Jericho.

  • Jesus knew I had received no mercy from the world,

  • Jesus knew I needed a Father who loved me, to guide me;

  • Jesus came to me

  • Jesus performed emergency care for me and introduced me to His love

  • Jesus put Himself upon my cross and

  • Then He walked with me, and He talked with me

  • And He told me I was His own

  • And lead me on a narrow path… to an inn,

  • An Inn where He took care of me,

  • Where His servants ministered to my wounds.

  • The Greatest Good Samaritan of my life was my Jesus.


So I said earlier that I discovered that there was more than one hero in the parable:

I hope you can see the other rescuers, who backed up the Good Samaritan

They were the people who inhabit the Inn

--- And that is us…

The House of God! It’s a “public house”!


During worship, we sang the song “Where You Are”, we sang it to Jesus,

We told Him “I just wanna be where You are”

And we sang to Him, saying “I just wanna be near Your heart”.

Do you know where to find where Jesus surely is?

Do you know how we can each be near to His heart?

He’s at the side of the road.

For another one.

We don’t know who she is, we may not know him well.

But Jesus didn’t pass by on the other side.

We will find Jesus there with that man is, where that woman is -- that’s where Jesus is!

Jesus is already bandaging wounds and pouring on the oil of gladness

Jesus has picked that soul up and is carrying them to us.

He’s waiting for more of his sons, his daughters, to come and care,

To be like him at the side of somebody’s road to Jericho

To have compassion

To treat the wounds of one of our neighbors we might not even know

To pour on oil for the healing of the Holy Spirit,

To receive those Jesus rescues, using you and me, and to show them a way to a new life, with you and me.


The Inn is where we congregate.  The Inn is the people IN this building.

In this or that one!

But friends, it’s not the building!

It’s the Lord IN the people … who are IN the building.

It’s where we go in to go back out.

We’re being trained to be Good Samaritans.

Now it’s your time: Who is your neighbor?

Is it someone you know who is hurting?

Is it the next “stranger” you meet?


Just remember that a stranger is just “a human being you haven’t met yet.”

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