The parable of Good Samaritan is usually spoken in the context of helping the helpless. It inspires us to support the people who are disadvantaged physically, mentally or financially. This parable, like the others in the bible has a deeper spiritual meaning. We would focus on the deeper meaning of the latter part of the parable, which talks about the man being stripped of his raiment.
It is also important to understand the context behind the parable that Jesus was referring. In Luke 10:25 (KJV), it says a certain lawyer asked Jesus on how to inherit eternal life. The intention behind the question was malicious. The Pharisees were constantly looking out to ensnare Jesus by asking him questions to elicit answers that could either be blasphemous or rebellious to the Roman Empire ruling Israel, as any one of these could amount to death penalty. They wanted to discredit Jesus’ new teachings and miracles which had been received gladly by the common Jews during that time.
Luke 10:30 (KJV) says, “And Jesus answering said, a certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.”
This man’s journey can be related to the fall of Adam which led to his spiritual death. After the fall, Adam lost his “likeness” with God and realized he was naked. This also reveals the state of Adamic race who lost their spiritual raiment to a thief (Satan) and was left spiritually dead. The journey from Jerusalem to Jericho has a spiritual connotation to it. Jerusalem was a blessed city that had the presence of God and was holy to the Israelites. Jericho on the other hand was a cursed city (Josh 6:20). This journey talks about a spiritual backsliding of an individual.
The thieves are not recorded stealing the man’s money or anything valuable, as cited in Luke 10:30. They stripped him of his raiment and wounded him. The Bible calls Satan as a thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. The other references to thieves are false prophets, false servants of God, false preachers and carnal minded people.
John 10:12(KJV) says “But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.”
A hired servant or false shepherd abandons the sheep at the time of crisis. They are concerned only about their sustenance. There are people who split congregations for their selfish motives. Many churches are destroyed by the actions of such people and believers are left traumatized, hurt and naked by the wayside. False prophets speak of false visions to rally people behind them. False teachers teach false doctrines, which nullify the power of God and salvation through the cross. Eventually, they strip the believer and leave him wounded, half-dead.
In Luke 10:30, the word “raiment” refers to an attire worn for a special occasion. It refers to an attire worn by the bridegroom for his wedding or worn by kings on special occasions. It is different from the word garment or clothing. The Bible teaches us about being clothed in robes of righteousness, which comes through the faith in Jesus Christ and his redemption on the cross and by the good work God has predestined us to do. The first thief i.e., Satan is determined to strip or blemish the believer’s raiment and leave them unworthy before God.
Mat 17:2 (KJV) says, “And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.”
The bride of Christ should be clothed in a raiment that is worthy of the bridegroom, Jesus. The people attending the wedding of the lamb should also wear a similar attire (Mat 22:12). Let us draw a parallel from the wedding which is to take place in Heaven. We see Jesus in shining white raiment and his face shining like the sun, we see the 24 elders dressed in special attire and the bride of Christ clothed in white robes standing to receive the bridegroom Jesus.
Rev 7:9 (KJV) says, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;”
As Jesus said in Rev 3: 18, let us buy the white raiment from him. The price of course is obeying the word of God, following him and abandoning the old sinful ways.
Rev 19: 7-8(KJV) says, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints”
Let us ask Jesus, to clean our wounds today, no matter how deep or old they are. May Jesus pour His oil and wine i.e., anoint us with His Holy Spirit and let that anointing heal us of our inner wounds. Ultimately, let us not forget that there is a thief by the roadside, who is waiting to strip our raiment and rob us from the privilege of partaking in the wedding in heaven.
This is an excerpt from the sermon on Good Samaritan preached by Pastor M A Varughese. Compiled by Bethel Media Ministries.