Wednesday, August 06, 2003

More from Stephen, from a painting of the Good Samaritan

The lawyer intending to ensnare Jesus teaches us much. We learn that in those days a “neighbor” to the Jews was one of their own kind. Therefore, in light of Jesus’ teachings, this lawyer wanted to convict Jesus of heresy by hearing him say that someone other than a Jew was a neighbor. The man convicted himself by answering Jesus’ last question. “Which now of these three would you say was the neighbor to the bandits’ victim?”
The lawyer answered, “He who showed mercy.”

Jesus never asked questions for information; he did so to draw men out. Even today Jesus asks us questions to woo us away from false reality. One of the greatest false realities in Christianity is when we disregard the words of the Master about the price of entry into the Kingdom of God and Eternal life.
The lawyer asked Jesus, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered with a question, “What is written in the law? How do you read?”
The lawyer answered. ”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus replied. “You have answered right, do this and you shall live.”