A. Introduction: Almighty God created human beings to become His holy, righteous sons and daughters
through faith in Him. God created us with the capacity to receive Him (His Spirit and life) into our being,
and then to reflect or display His character to the world around us. Eph 1:4-5
1. Jesus shows us what this looks like. Jesus is God become man without ceasing to be God. While on
earth Jesus didn’t live as God. He lived as a man (as a son of God) in dependence on God, His Father.
a. By doing so Jesus, in His humanity, showed us what sons and daughters of God look like. Jesus is
the pattern for God’s family. Rom 8:29
b. There was a family resemblance between Jesus and His Heavenly Father, and there should be one
between us and our Heavenly Father. We demonstrate the family through the way we treat people.
1. Eph 5:1-2—As children copy their fathers you, as God’s children, copy him (J. B. Phillips);
Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave
himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins (NLT).
2. Our number one responsibility as Christians is to become increasingly Christ-like in our actions
and attitudes, so that we accurately represent God our Father to the world around us—just as
Jesus did. We are to imitate Jesus’ example. John 14:9-10; I John2:6
2. Jesus said that the way God wants us to act is summed up in these words: Love God with all your heart,
mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. Matt 22:37-40
a. This love is not a feeling. It is an action. To love God means to obey His moral Law (His standard
of right and wrong, according to His written Word). To love our neighbor means to treat people the
way we want to be treated.
b. How you treat people is an expression of your love for God, because loving others is an obedience
issue. If you don’t love others, you don’t love God because you don’t obey Him. I John 4:20-21
c. Jesus is our example of what this love looks like. We are to love one another (or treat people) as
Jesus treated people. The night before Jesus was crucified He told His apostles:
1. John 13:34-35—I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved
you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are
my disciples (NLT).
2. This love was commanded in the Old Testament (the Law of Moses, Deut 6:4; Lev 19:17). It
is new, in that Jesus demonstrated this love in a way that the world had never seen before.
d. The love that Jesus demonstrates gives, serves, and forgives. This love desires the good of others.
The ultimate good is that people come to saving knowledge of Jesus. It loves its enemies and those
who can’t or won’t return the love. This love does not seek revenge—it commits the administering
of justice to Almighty God, the righteous judge. I Pet 2:21-23
3. For most of us, loving people is a challenge because, even though we are now sons and daughters of God,
people still annoy us, frustrate us, anger us, and hurt us.
a. We still have un-Christ-like thought patterns, habits, and behaviors that developed before we
became followers of Jesus. These must be exposed and dealt with. Changing the way we think
about things (ourselves and others in relation to God) is vital to this process.
b. We pointed out in the last lesson that Jesus saw men and women as valuable to God the Father (Luke
15). In this lesson we’re going to continue to examine some changes we need to make in our
thinking that will help us treat people in a way that reflects the example Jesus gave us.
B. Jesus, in His humanity, saw Himself as a servant of God and of men. In the context of Jesus’ attitude toward
God and people, Paul wrote: You should think in the same way Christ Jesus does (Phil 2:5, NIRV).
1. Paul went on to explain that Jesus humbled Himself by taking on human nature and being born into this

world. He humbled Himself and became a servant who laid down His life, not just for His friends, but
for His enemies. He was fully obedient to His Father (a servant) in all of this. Phil 2:5-8
a. One who is humble sees his true relation to God and men—servant of God and servant of others. A
servant is a person who is devoted to another. He serves God through obedience and reverence.
He serves his fellow man by giving aid, assist, and help.
b. The night before Jesus was crucified He and His twelve apostles celebrated a Passover meal
together. Much of what Jesus said to them that night was aimed at instructing them on how they
were to conduct themselves once He returned to Heaven.
1. It was the custom of the Jews to wash their feet when they entered a home. At one point in the
evening Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and then explained why He did so: Since I, the
Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each others’ feet. I have given
you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you (John 13:14-15, NLT).
2. Washing feet before a meal was a lowly, menial task. It was a servant’s duty. Jesus’ point
was that His followers should be willing to serve each other just as He, their Lord and Master,
was willing to do—even in menial and unpleasant tasks.
2. We don’t wash feet in this way anymore, so what does serving look like for us? Paul gives us insight.
In the context of being humble like Jesus, Paul commented on how to think about and treat other people.
a. Phil 2:3-4—Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking
of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in
others, too, and what they are doing (NLT).
1. Servants focus on the one they are serving. Paul urged Christians not to focus only on what
interests them, or to see themselves as superior, but to think about others and their interests.
2. Even if you’re smarter or more skilled, even if that person is boring, you can’t treat them that
way. You need God’s grace as much as them—What makes you better than anyone else?
What do you have that God hasn’t given you (I Cor 4:7, NLT)?
b. Paul also wrote: For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom
be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you
should serve one another (Gal 5:13, Amp).
c. This kind of love thinks: How has God treated me, and how would I want to be treated if I were the
boring person who has annoyed me, or the one who angered, frustrated, or hurt me.
3. God’s Law says that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. While on earth, Jesus told what is known
as the Parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate what it means to love your neighbor. Luke 10:25-37
a. A lawyer asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Lawyers were religious leaders who
were well-versed in the Old Testament, especially the first five books. Many were scribes.
1. This man’s motive behind the question was to test Jesus. Jesus recognized his motive and
asked the man—what does the Law say?—to which the scribe replied: Love God and love
your neighbor (Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18). His answer was correct, but his motive was wrong.
2. The lawyer wanted to justify his own treatment of people (v29) so he asked another question:
Who is my neighbor? The religious leaders interpreted neighbor to mean their fellow Jews—
not Gentiles (non-Jews). They taught that the Law said: Love you neighbor and hate
(despise) your enemy—meaning everyone but us Jews (Matt 5:43).
b. In response, Jesus talked about a man who was traveling the road from Jerusalem to Jericho when
he was attacked by thieves who beat him and left him half dead. A priest passed by without helping
him, and so did a Levite. Finally, a Samaritan stopped to help the injured man. Note these points:
1. This was most likely not a parable, but a real event known to the lawyer. Note, Jesus called the
injured man a certain man and the Samaritan a certain Samaritan. And, if this was simply a
story, the lawyer may have rightly protested that a Samaritan would never help a Jew.

2. There was great hostility between Jews and Samaritans, who lived northwest of Jerusalem in
Samaria. When most of the Jews were forcibly removed from their land by the Assyrian and
Babylonian Empires (in 722 BC and 586 BC), these empires moved other people groups into
Israel. They intermarried with the few remaining Jews and developed a hybrid Judaism.
3. The city of Jericho was home to thousands of priests and Levites (Temple assistants) who
frequently travelled the 19 mile route to Jerusalem to carry out their Temple duties.
A. The lawyer who approached Jesus with the initial question would have known that the
priest and the Levite had good reason not to help the injured man. They were on their way
to serve God, and would have been defiled if they touched blood or a dead body.
B. Additionally, the road between Jerusalem and Jericho was part of a major trade route and
was a prime spot for bandits. It was dangerous to travel alone as the wounded man had
done. The injured man got what he deserved for his stupidity, for traveling by himself.
C. The man’s decision to be alone on the road didn’t absolve anyone of their duty to show
compassion, mercy, and kindness.
c. After relating the incident, Jesus asked the lawyer “who proved himself neighbor to him who fell
among the robbers” (v36, Amp). Note, how Jesus phrased the question—not who was a neighbor,
but who acted as neighbor.
1. We think of a neighbor as someone who lives next door or down the street. The Greek word
translated neighbor means one who is near. In New Testament times, neighbor meant any
person lives nearby or passes by you; a neighbor is someone in distress who is within reach.
2. The lawyer couldn’t bring himself to say that it was the Samaritan who helped the man, so he
answered that the one who showed mercy was neighbor to the injured man.
A. Jesus told the lawyer to go and do the same (v37) and called what the Samaritan did having
compassion (v33). Compassion literally means to have bowels that yearn. It is the
sorrow or pity that is aroused by the suffering and misfortune of another.
B. Mercy is the outward demonstration of compassion or pity. Mercy assumes need on the
part of the one who receives it and resources adequate to meet the need on the part of the
one who shows it.
C. The Good Samaritan had no emotional connection to the injured man. But he was moved
to act with compassion. He did what he could and went on his way. Note, he did put
himself out, but didn’t give up his life savings or the rest of his life.
3. Compassion is being move to help a fellow human being who is made in the image of God. If
you see yourself as a superior who would never be that stupid it’s hard to have compassion.
Compassion looks at people and asks: How can I serve them? How can I be kind to them?
4. Mercy and compassion are more than emotions. They are traits of God our Father God, expressions of
kindness. You show kindness by helping someone in some way. Note what Jesus said.
a. In the context of loving not only people we like, but also our enemies, Jesus said: You will truly be
acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked.
You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate (Luke 6:35-36, NLT).
b. Kind is from a Greek word that literally means to furnish with what is needed. When used
figuratively it means good natured, gentle, and easy to bear, as opposed to hard, harsh, sharp, or
bitter. This same word is used when Jesus said that His yoke is easy. Matt 11:30
c. Note what Paul wrote about mercy kindness and the contrast with what isn’t compassionate or kind.
1. Col 3:12-13—Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe
yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must
make allowances for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember,
the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others (NLT).

2. Eph 4:31-32—Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types
of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
just as God through Christ has forgiven you (NLT).
C. Conclusion: We must realize that we are all born with a bent toward selfishness that doesn’t automatically
go away when we become sons and daughters of God. We must become aware of, admit, and expose this
tendency toward selfishness and make a conscious decision to turn from those attitudes and actions.
1. You may say: I’m not selfish. I’m a nice person who tries to do good for people. But you need to
understand that, although selfishness can motivate us to do bad, it can also motivate us to do good.
a. Often we do things for people because we want the attention, feedback, and praise that will come to
us, or because we don’t want to look like a bad person, or because we feel guilty.
1. We must be brutally honest about our motive for doing good. Is it because we desire this
person’s good above all, or because there is something in it for us?
2. Matt 6:1-18—Jesus talked about people who do good deeds (giving alms or gifts of charity,
prayer, and fasting) to be seen by men.
b. Paul wrote that you can give all that you have to the poor and still not love people (I Cor 13:3).
Then he listed characteristics of the kind of love that we are to express to others.
1. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not
demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged
(I Cor 13:4-5, NLT)).
2. Love meekly and patiently bears ill treatment from others. Love is kind, gentle, benign,
pervading and penetrating the whole nature, mellowing all which would have been harsh and
austere (stern) (I Cor 13:4-5, Wuest).
2. We have to begin to think about how we treat other people. Do you treat others as you want to be
treated? Do you treat others as God has treated you? Let’s ask some thought provoking questions.
a. Are your words and actions toward others easy to bear or sharp and bitter? Are you harsh or terse
with others when you feel impatient? Do you snap at people when you are frustrated?
b. When you talk to people do you actually listen to them or are you waiting for them to take a breath
so that you can start talking? Are you planning in your head what you are going to say next rather
than trying to understand their point?
c. If you disagree with them do you write them off as a stupid idiot? Are you looking for ways to
correct them? Do you cut people off because you think you know what they are going to say?
d. Do you ask people about themselves and their interests or are you only concerned with what you
want to talk about? Do you pay attention to how much you talk? Do you dominate conversations?
e. When people are in a mess because they did something that you believe is stupid, are you glad to see
them suffer the consequences?
3. None of this means that you have to put yourself in harm’s way or take repeated ill-treatment from
people. Joseph tested his brothers to see if their character had changed. Gen 42-45 a.
Kindness toward another person may mean simply praying for them from a distance: I pray for
their welfare, happiness, and protection (I Pet 3:9, Amp). Love wants the good of others and does
what it can to be kind in every circumstance and situation.
b. Instead of praying, God change the people who bug me, what if you prayed: Help me to see them
as you see them and be kind and compassionate toward them. Show me how to be a kind servant.
c. Always remember that God is in you by His Spirit to help you treat people in a Christ-like way as
you choose to make an effort to change.
4. How does a kind servant behave? How do you put the focus on another person? Jesus told us: Treat
Treat others the way you want to be treated. Much more next week!