Sunday, April 19, 2015

The real good Samaritan

"And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”27 And 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 answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, 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, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)
Anyone who started going to church as a child heard this story. We all knew that we were supposed to go out and act as Good Samaritans.
However, at the conference that I went to, Jen Wilkin talked about another viewpoint of this popular story.
When reading this story, Wilkin asked if the Bible was a story about us or a story about God. I have to say, I've always read the Bible looking for what I needed to know and what I should learn from it. Really though, the Bible is God's autobiography. It's his story that he gave to us to read. Yes, there's lots to learn from it. However, we also just need to read it and learn about God through it.
So, we looked at the story of the Good Samaritan through that viewpoint.
There is a man who's dying, close to death. No one would/could save him, except this one Samaritan -- who was a man with heritage that made him hated by all Jews. He took this dying man to a hotel and fixed him up, bringing him back from death and then paid for all his care. He then said he would come back to settle up the rest of the debts.
Why, this isn't a story about how we should act at all. This too is a story about God.
We are the people who were dead and dying. Jesus came by, a man hated by Jews, and took us from the brink of death. He died on the cross to pay for our debts, and he promises to come back one day. Jesus is the true good Samaritan.
Blew my mind.

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