Sunday, June 23, 2013

Luke 10.25-37

This Sunday I get the privilege to fill the pulpit at 5th Avenue United Methodist Church.  I will be focusing on Luke 10.25-37.  In this passage a lawyer confronts Jesus -- so as to test him.  He tests Jesus in how he answers the question of obtaining eternal life.  Essentially the lawyer answers his own question by saying that one obtains eternal life by loving God and loving neighbor. But, wanting to justify himself (v29) he then asks who his neighbor is.  Jesus then answers that question with a parable ----- the parable that has come to be called the "good Samaritan". 

We are all familiar with this story ------ sometimes too familiar.  The Bible never calls him good—but we have labeled the story the good Samaritan. I would make the case that there really was nothing that good about him. All he really did was meet the minimum requirements for obtaining eternal life—and that is loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. The reason we like to call him “good” is because of what he does. It seems as if he does something that is beyond the call of duty—and we think that we could never do the same. This Samaritan essentially helps someone that hates him. And maybe hate is too strong of a word. Here are some less strong synonyms: despise, look down upon, abhor, have contempt toward, curse, scorn, loathe—however you cut the mustard—it's bad. And this Samaritan helps the beat up person—regardless. This Samaritan embodied hope for the one who had been beat up and left for dead.

Jesus tells the lawyer ------ and us ------ in Luke 10.37: “Go and do likewise.”  Go love our neighbors. Go and embody the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. Go and be the hands and feet of Jesus to a lost and dying world. 

What are ways that God is calling you to embody hope to the community? 

No comments: