On September 9th, Inés Velasquez-McBryde led us in a reflection on Luke 10:25-37 — with new thoughts on the good Samaritan. Inéz first notes that the expert of the law puts Jesus, the teacher, to the test. Also, the expert sees eternal life as an inheritance — something he doesn’t have to work for.
Jesus invites the expert into a dialogue. “What is written in the law?” And as the dialogue progresses, the expert asks Jesus, “And who is my neighbor” — in an attempt to justify himself. He seems to understand the idea of loving God with all of his heart, mind, and soul — but does not understand the work of love toward his neighbor. His understanding of the law is incomplete.
In answer, Jesus offers up a story — the story we know as that of the good Samaritan. Inés asks who are those who in our day have been victimized in the way of the man who’d been attacked? What groups historically have been robbed of their dignity, robbed of their worth, and left half-dead? And what are ways that we ourselves pass by? To what are we indifferent? How can we approach injustice?
The Samaritan, who would have been an outsider to the expert, demonstrated compassion: suffering with the man in need, and taking care of him. It cost him something.
Who is the good Samaritan? And who acted like a neighbor? Where do we find mercy? And how do we walk in the way of the Good Samaritan?
The following are a few questions that Inéz invited us to think about:
- While reading the text: where does the Spirit stop me? What catches my attention? What questions does the text raise?
- How is Jesus pushing the limits of your mercy and compassion? What keeps you from being merciful?
- Who is your neighbor in your school, workplace, community that you need to love with your heart, mind, soul and strength?
Hear in more detail here:
For convenience sake, there is also a podcast available. You can find that here.
Painting by Olga Bakhtina