Over the next four weeks, as we go through this study on Luke’s Gospel, we are going to be looking at four stories that help us better understand what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ who is transforming the world. The four stories we will consider in this series are:
- The Parable of the Good Samaritan
- The Visit with Mary and Martha
- The Teaching on Prayer
- The Power of Possessions
I think that often when we read the parable of the Good Samaritan we miss the point of the story. In the parable, when the lawyer (who was not a lawyer like we think of a lawyer, but really more like a seminary professor or highly educated clergyperson) correctly identifies the Samaritan as the neighbor, Jesus responds with the words, “That is the right answer; do this and you will live.”
This isn’t a story about finding easy opportunities to do some good works in our communities. It isn’t even a story about answering the call to give substantially to support those in great need, or to sacrificially go and serve in places in the world where people suffer.
This is a story about how we are to live as disciples every single day, right here at home, in our own neighborhoods and churches. It is a call to see the needs of the people we meet on a walk, or in the grocery store, or on our way to do something else, and to not think first about our own safety or our own agendas, but rather to live as people who willingly let the needs of the world around us interrupt our plans so that we never miss an opportunity to offer mercy to all of God’s children. This, says Jesus, is how we transform the world.