July 14th, 2013
Luke 10:25-37 NRSV
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26 He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ 27 He answered, ‘You shall 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 your neighbour as yourself.’ 28 And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’
29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ 30 Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ 37 He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
After reading this passage of scripture we will be using in today's Sunday Lesson. I was reminded of the Lord of how each and every one of us are vulnerable at some time in life. Yet, when we become stable, or established look down upon the plight of others, and do not respond in love. Believing rather that the strong, the rich and the powerful have no responsibility, but to maintain oneself and his or her dominion. Accumulating wealth and giving scraps or peripheral donations to the poor in order to look pious or charitable.
The Lord reminded me of when we were born. We were all quite vulnerable. We were all the same, totally dependent on our parents or guardians to take care of us. In of ourselves we had no strength, and were totally dependent on someone else to take care of us. We came into this world totally dependent, and not self sufficient. Yet, somehow as time goes on and we take upon the mentality of our society, or our peculiar philosophy's in life. We tend to forget where we came from and chagrin the poor, the needy and the less fortunate.
This type of attitude or spirit is within our society's attitude, culture and governmental policies in many ways. However, it shows a lack of understanding of humanity and who we are. For we are no better than the lowest common denominator in our society, and to rise and become stronger we must secure and give hope to hopeless, and touch those who have no power to help themselves. To ignore or to say that this problem doesn't exist in our modern society, is to deny what is ever before us, in an attempt to live in our protective cocoon of self delusion.
In the story of the good samaritan we have a story of an individual with great compassion. Who was from the other side of the tracks if you will. Someone the broken and beaten man would never had associated with. Nevertheless, whom became his hope for healing and restoration of life.
It is this type of love and compassion God wants us to embrace as we live out the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For Christ uses this story to explain to a lawyer how you might inherit eternal life. This is not just a story, this is the example of how a believer's life lives out the gospel message. The one Christ wants us to emulate in lifestyle by sharing Christ's compassionate love to one's fellow man. Rather than with tokenism or scaps off the table, but from a heart of compassion without hesitation and at whatever cost is necessary. That is the message of this passage and that was the sacrificial love that God has shown us by His life, death and mercy as the son of man.
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Reverend Patrick Vossen,