Why a Samaritan?

This coming Sunday our gospel is the well known story called the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In yesterday’s post we see the “Good Samaritan” coming to the aid of the beaten man who was left for dead on the roadside. In this parable, why would Jesus choose a Samaritan to be the “hero” of the story? Brian Stoffregen has interesting insights into this answer: Continue reading

The Parable

This coming Sunday our gospel is the well known story called the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In yesterday’s post the questions from the scholar continue, moving on to an inquiry about who is (or is not) a neighbor whom one is to love. It is at this point that the parable begins. Culpepper [229] identified the central character as being noticeably undefined. He is not characterized by race, religion, region, or trade. He is merely “a certain man” who by implication could be any one of Jesus’ hearers. The phrase “a certain man” (anthrōpos tis), however, will become a common feature of the Lukan parables (12:16; 14:2, 16; 15:11; 16:1, 19; 19:12; 20:9). Jesus’ audience no doubt imagined the man to be Jewish, but Luke’s audience may have assumed he was a Gentile. The point is that he is identified only by what happened to him. Continue reading

Neighbors

This coming Sunday our gospel is the well known story called the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In yesterday’s post Jesus’ dialogue with the scholar goes well. Jesus accepts the scholar’s answer: “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But there are more questions: But because he wished to justify himself… And who is my neighbor?” One wonders why the scholar did not “quit while he was ahead?” Continue reading

A Question About Eternal Life

This coming Sunday our gospel is the well known story called the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In yesterday’s post we placed the gospel in the context of the ongoing mission of the disciples that was highlighted in the previous Sunday’s gospel. The parable begins with a question: There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Continue reading

Condemnation or Lamentation?

This coming Sunday is the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In yesterday’s post we encountered the possibility that some towns would not receive the good news of the Kingdom of God at hand. You may have noticed that there is a “gap” in the Sunday gospel. Quite noticeably, the Sunday gospel passes over vv.13-16, sayings that are difficult in themselves, and certainly present larger homiletic challenges for a Sunday morning: 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’” 16 Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Continue reading

“Peace to this household…”

This coming Sunday is the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In yesterday’s post the disciples received their “marching orders.” In today’s post they receive instructions on how to conduct themselves while on the mission. The instructions for how the disciples should receive hospitality are expanded from 9:4, which simply commanded that they stay wherever they were received. Here the instruction has two parts, with commentary on each: (1) say, “Peace to this house,” and (2) remain in the house where you are received.

Continue reading

The Urgency of the Harvest and Risk of Mission

This coming Sunday is the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In yesterday’s post the disciples were commissioned. Today, they are receiving their “marching orders.” 2 He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. 3 Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. 4 Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Continue reading

Appointing and Instructing the Missioners

This coming Sunday is the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In yesterday’s post we framed an understanding of the gospel reading as one of mission. 1 After this the Lord appointed seventy (-two) others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. Just prior to sending out these “apostles” (the related verb apostello is used in vv. 1, 3, & 16), James and John indicate their inadequacies by wanting to call down fire to destroy the Samaritans and three “would-be” followers indicate their unwillingness to leave all to follow Jesus. Yet, in spite of these shortcomings among his followers, Jesus sends them out. Continue reading