JESUS MAFA. The Good Samaritan, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn.
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Luke 10:25-42 Commentary
by Audrey West
The lawyer who tests Jesus already knows the answer to his first question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
By the time of his second question -- “And who is my neighbor?” -- one suspects confirmation bias to be in play. He already knows that answer, too. He is a smart guy, after all; it is his job to trade in certainty.
But Jesus turns the lawyer’s certainty on its head. Parables have a way of doing that.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is quite familiar, even in secular culture. Most U.S. states have laws in its name, making it possible for bystanders to help people in need without being placed at legal risk when they do so.
What is a preacher to do with a parable so familiar that “everybody” already knows what it means? One option is to recognize that our certainty places us squarely in the shoes of the lawyer whose questions prompted the parable in the first place. If Jesus’ story challenged his preconceived notions, we might create space for it to challenge our own.1
With the exception of a very brief addendum regarding Luke 10:38-45 (Mary and Martha), ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
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NL260: Good Samaritan
March 05, 2017
This podcast on Luke 10:25-42, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Mar. 5, 2017, features Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Matt Skinner. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.