Understanding the Bible in its own time and in ours, Luke 10:25-37, David Ewart, 2010 Commentary: http://www.holytextures.com/2010/05/luke-10-25-37-year-c-pentecost-july-10-july-16-proper10-ordinary-time-15-sermon.html
Painting: Good Samaritan by Van Gogh.
A Little Bit for Everyone
Oremus online text: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Luke+10:25-37&vnum=yes&version=nrsv
Textweek general resources: http://www.textweek.com/yearc/properc10.htm
Textweek resources for Luke’s Gospel this Sunday: http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/lk10b.htm
Some interesting articles on this passage:
Working Preacher: http://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?lect_date=7/11/2010
William Loader’s thoughts:
Commentary by Chris Haslam
William Willimon, Blogging toward Sunday: http://theolog.org/2007/07/blogging-toward-sunday_09.html
Here is a great site. You have to become a member, it is free. It works by providing parallel texts, original language, or you can work on your own translation. Really Cool. (Thank you Patrick Miller for sharing): http://greattreasures.org/gnt/main.do
Fill our hearts, with compassion and generosity toward the sufferings of our brothers and sisters, so that, like Christ, e may become Good Samaritans to the whole world.
From Prayers for Sunday and Seasons, Year C, Peter J. Scagnelli, LTP, 1992.
This passage begins with a hostile question from a lawyer. It is the same question from Luke 18:18. What must one do to inherit eternal life? This phrase “eternal life” interestingly appears very few times in the whole of the New Testament. It appears only 12 times, and five of those times are in Luke’s Gospel. This is not to say that we don’t read about the idea in other ways elsewhere, but it is clear that it only appears in this exact phrasing but a few times.
In this moment Jesus refers him to the passage from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. Both commandments are here enjoined as a cliff notes of sorts to the basic teachings of scripture and of Jesus.
In asking who is one’s neighbor with the lawyer we might look at the actual text of Leviticus first to see what it says. When we do we see that it means the following: sons of your own people (Lev 19:18) stranger or sojourner in the land (Lev 19:33-34). (LTJ, Luke, Sacra Pagina, 172) It is interesting to not here that the Pharisees, like those at Qumran understood this only in the first sense of understanding: it was about your own people. Jesus evidently believes it is a much broader group as in the parable we are about to hear.
The story of the Good Samaritan begins. As we have already seen and read in the past few weeks we are reading through a section of Luke focused on Samaria. We arrive at the telling of this story fully aware of the differences between Jerusalem and Samaria. We know of the division, and we are pretty sure that while they are not one of us, Jesus intends for them to be one of us. This message of inclusion is troubling to his first followers and it is troubling to his followers today.
When Jesus finishes the story he reverses the question from a legal obligation to a question about who deserves “love.” All of a sudden the question is turned over as Jesus asks not who is my neighbor, but to who may I be neighborly? Moreover, the answer reveals that the Samaritan while clearly not neighbor by the law of Lev 19:18 is the moral exemplar of the reign of God intended by Jesus.
Luke Timothy Johnson writes the following:
“More stunning still is the use to which Jesus turns the parable. The point, we learn, is not who deserves to be cared for, but rather the demand to become a person who treats everyone encountered – however frightening, alien, naked or defenseless – with compassion: “you go and do the same.” Jesus does not clarify a point of law, but transmutes law to gospel. One must take the same risks with one’s life and possessions that the Samaritan did!”
The idea that Jesus offers this unique change in the ethnic understanding of neighborliness and offers a vision of what we might call the ever expanding reach of Gospel proclamation may be news. It is Jesus himself who offers the Christian Church the ever expanding, always missional questions, “who is unlike you?” and, “what is the opportunity they offer you?” How are you going to minister to them?” Can you be as Jesus to them?” “How about as the Samaritan to them?”
We are given the opportunity to see those completely unlike ourselves as the missionary recipient of God’s never failing love and grace. We are to be neighbors, not counting the cost, but risking everything; including the risk of being thrown out of our faith ghetto for fraternizing with the enemy.
There is a great reminder here that we are to read the whole of scripture and that we are to see the fullness of God’s mission. We are invited through our faith in Jesus to be tested and to do the work Jesus has given us to do. We are to be like the Samaritan.
Can I do the same?
More radical may be to answer this question: Do I believe my inheritance of eternal life is dependant upon this work?
The Lambeth Bible Study Method
This Bible study method was introduced by the African Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church. It is known by both names: "Lambeth" and "African." This method is derived from the practice of Lectio Divina. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.
Question #5: "Briefly identify where this passage touches their life today," can change based upon the lesson. Find lesson oriented questions at this website: http://www.dcdiocese.org/word-working-second-question
Opening Prayer: O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
1. One person reads passage. This person then invites a member of the group to begin the process.
2. Each person briefly identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention then invites another person to share.
3. Each shares the word or phrase until all have shared or passed using the same invitation method.
4. The passage is read a second time, preferably from a different translation. The reader then invites a person in the group to begin the process.
5. Each person briefly identifies where this passage touches their life today, and then invites someone who has not shared yet.
6. The passage is read a third time, also from another translation, and the reader invites a person to start the process.
7. Each person responds to the questions, "What does God want me to do, to be or to change?"
8. The group stands up in a circle and holds hands. One person initiates the prayer “I thank God today for …” and “I ask God today for…” The prayer goes around the circle by squeezing the hand to your right.
9. When the circle is fulfilled, the person who initiated the prayer starts the Lord’s Prayer, “Our father…”