MUSINGS – August 12 2018


Luke 10:25-37
“Then an expert in Moses’ Teachings stood up to test Jesus. He asked, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “What is written in Moses’ Teachings? What do you read there?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.’ And ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'” Jesus told him, “You’re right! Do this, and life will be yours.” But the man wanted to justify his question. So he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man went from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way robbers stripped him, beat him, and left him for dead. “By chance, a priest was traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he went around him and continued on his way. Then a Levite came to that place. When he saw the man, he, too, went around him and continued on his way. “But a Samaritan, as he was traveling along, came across the man. When the Samaritan saw him, he felt sorry for the man, went to him, and cleaned and bandaged his wounds. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day the Samaritan took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. He told the innkeeper, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than that, I’ll pay you on my return trip.’ “Of these three men, who do you think was a neighbor to the man w was attacked by robbers?” The expert said, “The one who was kind enough to help him.” Jesus told him, “Go and imitate his example!”

The question was asked, Who is my neighbor?” and Jesus, using irony in his story, makes the hero a Samaritan. “Jews, of course, don’t associate with mSamaritans.”

Jesus also choose the villans carefully : a levite and a priest. In popular thought, they were the “good guys”. And under Jewish law and tradition they had every reason to not touch the bloodied and possibly dead body of a stranger. They could made unclean for seven days and if not properly ritually clean could be expelled from Italy and be perpetually unclean** very serious consequences. However, not insurmountable, mearly inconvenience. And that was the point it was inconvenient for them. However, it was no lease inconvenience for the mean if Samaria, and yet he was willing to treat a stranger in the same way he hoped a stranger would treat him.***

Who are your neighbors? For whom are you willing to be inconvenienced, or possible endangered? For whom would you go the extra mile?****

*John 4:9

”Numbers 10:11-14

*** Matthew 7:12

****Matthew 5:14
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All content (except quotations) © 2018 Thomas E. Williams

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