Saturday April 6, 2019
Today’s Focus Love God, Love neighbor
Today’s Scripture Reading Luke 10:25-37
25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”[c]
28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Parable of the Good Samaritan
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[d] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[e] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Daily Reflection Excerpt from New Interpreter’s Bible
- Alan Culpepper
Neither the story of the good Samaritan nor the story of Mary and Martha is complete without the other. Each makes its own point -the Samaritan love his neighbor, and Mary loves her Lord- but the model for the disciple is found in the juxtaposition of the two. To the lawyer, Jesus says, “Go and do,” but he praises Mary for sitting and listening. The life of a disciples requires both. The power of these two stories consists not just in that they exemplify the great commands of 10:27 but in Jesus’ choice of character to illustrate the love of neighbor and the love of God; a Samaritan and a woman. The social codes and boundaries were clear and inflexible; a Samaritan would not be considered a model of neighborliness, and a woman would not sit with men around the feet of a teacher.
In its own way, the conjunction of the stories about the good Samaritan and the female disciple voice Jesus’ protest against the rules and boundaries set by the culture in which he lived. As they develop seeing and hearing as metaphors for the activity of the kingdom, the twin stories also expose the injustice of social barriers that categorize, restrict, and oppress various groups in any society. To love God with all one’s heart and one’s neighbor as oneself meant then and now that one must often reject society’s rules in favor of the codes of the kingdom – a society without distinctions and boundaries between its members. The rules of that society are just two – to love God and one’s neighbor – but these rules are so radically different from those of the society in which we live that living by them invariably calls us to disregard social convention, break the rules, and follow Jesus’ example.
Some questions for reflection
- You may recall that Last Tuesday we shared some of the themes that would be brought forward in Luke’s gospel. One of them was that God’s redemptive plan would be revealed and that salvation was offered to all. This week you have born witness to story after story of how these themes come to life not only in the 1st century but also in the 21st Did any single story really stand out to you? Can you see how radical and inclusive God’s love really is through the sharing of these stories?
- Take notice we never hear how the religious lawyer responded to Jesus’ teaching. Did he learn and go and do? Did he not learn? We simply don’t know. Is it important for us to know how our proclamation of God’s love impacts the lives of those to whom we proclaim God’s love too?
Today’s discipleship challenge
Share a story with your group about a time when either you heard the story of God’s love for you from another person in a way or manner that you didn’t expect, or a time when you shared God’s love with another in a way or manner in which they didn’t expect. How did this experience impact your relationship with God and with your neighbor?
Almighty God, by the power of the Spirit You have knit us, your servants into the one body of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Look with favor upon us in our commitment to serve in Christ’s name. Give us courage, patience, and vision, and strengthen us all in our ability to be a witness to the world and of service to others, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.