Investigate & petition – Luke 10:29-37

Investigation

1. “The road from Jerusalem to Jericho runs down a deep descent through desolate country. The distance is about seventeen miles and the road descends more than three thousand feet. It is the kind of wild country in which robbers might well be safe.” (Morris, 189)

2. “It is possible that Jesus was on this road at the time when he delivered the parable; for Bethany is on it, and the next event takes place there (vs.38-42).” (Plummer, 286)

3. “Jericho . . . was the residence of about half of the priestly orders.” (Ellis, 161)

4. “’Who is my neighbor?’ The implication in the question is, ‘Where does one draw the line?’ Jesus’ example will extend the answer beyond what is given in Lev. 19:16,33-34.” (Fitzmyer, 886)

5. “In NT times the Levites were an order of cultic officials, inferior to the priests but nevertheless a privileged group in Jewish society. They were responsible for the liturgy in the temple and for policing it.” (Marshall, 448)

6. “Carefully observant of religious duties in Jerusalem, they omit the ‘love of God’ (11:42). Is it from fear? Or religious rules prohibiting contact with a corpse (Lev. 21:1; Naz. 7:1)? Or the conviction that one need not show mercy to a ‘sinner’ (Sir. 12:4-6)? It is irrelevant. . . . the religious ones . . . passed by.” (Ellis, 161)

7. “The audience would have expected a priest and a Levite to be followed by an Israelites layman.” (Morris, 189)

8. “Samaritans were descendants of a mixed population occupying the land following the conquest by Assyria in 722 B.C.E. They opposed rebuilding the temple and Jerusalem (Ezra 4:2-5; Neh. 2:19) and constructed their own place of worship on Mount Gerizim. Ceremonially unclean, socially outcast, and religiously heretic, the Samaritan is the very opposite of the lawyer as well as the priest and the Levite.” (Willimon, 150)

9. “Jesus deliberately shocks the lawyer by forcing him to consider the possibility that a semi-pagan foreigner might know more about the love of God than a devout Jew blinded by preoccupation with pettifogging rules.” (Caird, 148-149)

10. “The conversation between Jesus and the layer perfectly illustrates the difference between the ethics of law and the ethics of love. . . . Religion to the one is a set of restrictive regulations, to the other a boundless series of opportunities.” (Caird, 147-148)

11. “Having right answers does not mean one knows God. Students can make a four-point in Bible and miss the point. Jesus did not say to the lawyer, ‘Great answer! You are my best pupil.” Rather, Jesus said, ‘Go and do.’” (Willimon, 150)

Petition

God and Father in heaven, when my path is crossed and my plans are interrupted by anyone in true need, may I find real mercy well up so in my heart that my hands and feet, means and ways, are set into motion in imitation of your constant mercy. Help me not to deny what I see with my own eyes and not to shy for fear of the consequences of involvement. In the name of him who teaches me and exemplifies this sort love and life, I pray. Amen.

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