There are three segments to our Legacy Lesson:
2. Legacy Lesson–Bible point: Kindness & Compassion
3. Wrap-up: Apply the message to our own lives; work on memory verse
I. Icebreaker: Indifference
Today, we are focusing on a form of kindness called compassion. Compassion is seeing something that causes us to feel bad enough to help out. Compassion is not just feeling sad but it is doing something about it. Jesus wants us to show compassion to others. That is an expression of His love.
Discussion Questions to get your people thinking about today’s topic:
How would you feel in these situations:
●If you saw a person harming an animal?
●If you saw a person hurting someone else?
●If you heard a person saying mean things to someone else?
In each of these situations, we have the chance to step up and intervene, to the person/animal being hurt. This is called compassion.
●When was the last time you helped someone who needed it?
When we witness or hear about such things and feel no urge to help, that is called indifference. Indifference is a dangerous condition….it’s witnessing cruel acts and not being compelled to act.
- Indifference is seeing someone being bullied and you do nothing to stop it.
- Indifference is passing a homeless person on the street and you feel nothing.
- Indifference is seeing someone drop their books and you don’t offer to help them.
Indifference is the opposite of love. It’s the opposite of what Jesus wants us to be. It’s the opposite of what we are called to be as Christians.
Jesus desires for his people to have compassion. He doesn’t just want us talking about helping people…he wants to see us actually HELPING PEOPLE. In fact, he told a parable about helping people for our story today.
2. Transition over to Legacy Lesson:
You will need a Bible to read our focus story. Feel free to modify for your sphere of influence. Add, revise, or delete sections that would help keep attention for 30 minutes or less. (For younger audiences, I would aim for 10-15 minutes!)
Our lesson today is using a very familiar story in the Bible to reinforce Jesus’ teaching on compassion and indifference. I will give you a few options on how to teach this story so that your people don’t let its familiarity take away from the moral and spiritual lessons that can be learned.
Jesus often taught crowds of people. Within these crowds of people were Pharisees, men who considered themselves “experts” on the Jewish law. Their teachings were all about rules and laws. Jesus’ teachings were about love, compassion, and forgiveness. As a result, they often challenged Jesus on his teachings. This story is an example of one of those times.
Let’s read Luke 10: 25-29.
What was the first law the man said to get eternal life?
There are, according to Jesus TWO commandments that take importance over the others. The first one is this: “Love the Lord your God. Love him with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” This is considered the greatest commandment because it is all about our spiritual legacy: Love the Lord, put Him first in all that we do, think, or say. The idea is that if we truly follow this command, we will accept his Son as our Savior…which would give us
eternal life. The second greatest command is this: “You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
So, basically, we are called to: 1) Love God and 2)Love our neighbors.
What was the second question the Pharisee asked Jesus?
“Who is my neighbor?” The Pharisee wasn’t content…he pushed Jesus to see who he was obligated to love. Jews didn’t love everyone. There were groups of people they looked down on. The Samaritans, for example, was one of those groups.)
So, Jesus told a fictional story to show his point in WHO we are called to love and HOW we are to love them.
There are 2 ways you can teach this parable:
Pick your version to share with your people!
1. Read Luke 10: 30-35 in whatever translation works best for you and your people. (I am a fan of the ICB for family readings.)
*I recommend this for younger peeps!
2. Read a current version of this age-old parable. I wrote this version for any kids already familiar with this story. I know my kiddos have heard this parable several times. Perhaps if they read it in a more updated version, it might make it more meaningful and relevant to their lives.
*I recommend this for older kids, especially kids who have heard this story before.
Questions to ask:
✓Who showed indifference in this parable? How did they show it? (A priest and a Levite…they walked away from the beaten man.)
✓Who showed compassion? How did he show it? (The Good Samaritan—he stopped to help. He put wine on the man’s wounds to disinfect them. He put oil on his wounds to soothe them. He took the man to an inn and paid the innkeeper to care for him until he returned.)
✓It is much easier for many people being indifference because indifference
means we can walk away from helping. Why do you think it is harder for people
to show compassion? (Point: Our actions show whether we are compassionate or indifferent.)
Interesting facts about Jews and Samaritans to share:
➤Jews hated Samaritans. They considered Samaritans to be half-breeds: one Jewish parent and one non-Jewish parent. This caused them to reject Samaritans as one of their own kind. Good discussions can be had here about prejudice and racism.
➤Jews saw Samaritans as rebellious. They considered them traitors, not following the Jewish laws or traditions. They also rejected the Jewish prophets’ teachings.
➤Jews built a temple in Jerusalem to worship God. The Samaritans build a temple for themselves as well in Samaria. Jews saw this as idolatry.
➤Samaritans accepted and housed all Jewish criminals and outlaws…those who broke the laws and were kicked out of Jerusalem were very accepted in Samaria.
In conclusion, Jews saw the Samaritans as the worst kind of people. This is probably the reason why Jesus made the Samaritan in his parable GOOD… because Jews would never consider such people capable of doing GOOD.
That is another reason why I ❤ Jesus—he loved to break down barriers, teaching us to see into people’s hearts and not be hindered by “labels” we place upon others.
Jesus wrapped up his parable by asking the Pharisee a question. Let’s read it.
Go to Luke 10: 36-37 (ICB):
Questions to ask:
What question did Jesus ask? (Who was the better neighbor?)
What did the Pharisee say? (The one who helped—the Good Samaritan)
What was Jesus’ final command to this Pharisee? (“Then go and do the same thing he did!”—to go and live this truth out!)
3. Wrapping-Up: Applying it to our lives
The common denominator between kindness and compassion is LOVE. Love drives these qualities in us. The more we love the Lord, the more kind we are to others. The more we surrender our heart to Jesus, the more compassionate we become. We are to become Jesus’ “hands and feet”; that just means we do what Jesus would have done on earth—serve, help, love.
A memory verse what will be perfect for us to remember this is Mark 12: 30-31:
The two greatest commandments.
The more we love God, the more we can love others (no matter how irritating some can be!). Love for God and love for our neighbors (according to Jesus, that is anyone!) will drive our kindness and compassion.
Copyright © 2021 by Amber Spencer @lionesslegacymama. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.