This Sunday we will begin a new series looking at who God is and what does it mean to be a Jesus Follower? When we think about God, sometimes we pick and choose the characteristics of God we like and ignore some other characteristics.
In our efforts to reduce God to what we want, we end not wanting to be in a relationship with this god that we have reduced.
This week we will look at the parable of the Samaritan who helped the man who was beaten and robbed. Check it out…
Luke 10:25-37 NRSV
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 neighbor 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 neighbor?”
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 traveling 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,[k] gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor 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.”
This familiar passage has reminded us to be more attentive to the needs of others. When you read this passage, do you distance yourself from the religious hypocrites, and gravitate to the virtues of the Samaritan?
But what if there’s something more unsettling going on in Jesus’ story?
Have you thought about the robbed and beaten man in the story? Often this traveler is only thought of as a prop in this story, could there be something we can learn from the traveler?
While we think of the Samaritan as being “good” and kind, is there more we can learn from the Samaritan’s actions?
Let’s talk about it on Sunday.