Sermon for Pentecost 5 – 7.10.22

+ 5th Sunday after Pentecost – July 10th, 2022 +

Series C: Leviticus 18:1-5, 19:9-18; Colossians 1:1-14; Luke 10:25-37

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA

 

“The Good Samaritan”

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” 

 

Although Shakespeare’s famous words were written about the parts we play in various stages of human life, his words give us a helpful way to see Jesus’ parables. Jesus’ parables are a stage for God’s unexpected mercy, and Jesus’ shocking, outrageous undeserved, unmerited, and unconditional love for the lost, least, last, losers and outcast. Think of Jesus’ parables as inspired, divine drama, where his compassion, mercy, and love are center stage.

 

In the parables, Jesus teaches and proclaims His divine word along with all the richness and imagination of a storyteller. After all, Jesus is divine playwright himself, the Word of God made flesh.

 

And when it comes to the Parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke’s gospel reading this morning, it’s easy to read and hear the parable and imagine ourselves in the lead role of the Samaritan.  “The moral of the story is…Don’t be like the priest. Don’t be like the Levite. Be like the Samaritan. Be nice. Do good. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Pay it forward.” And so on.

 

And to be sure, this parable is, in part, Jesus calling us to love our neighbor. Think about it for a moment. If our love is all this parable is about, and we’re in the spotlight, it’s probably not too long before we start to feel the heat and bright lights hitting us like sun glares on the freeway. Revealing, exposing, and shedding the spotlight us.

 

How would Rotten Tomatoes review our performance as Good Samaritans? Have we kept Jesus’ commands? Have you walked in his word and ways? Have you loved the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your strength, and all your mind? And, have you loved your neighbor as much as you love yourself? Of course you haven’t, and I haven’t either. If it’s the lead role we’re trying out for, we quickly realize we do not make the cut.

 

 

Remember how this parable started. It began with a question about salvation. A lawyer asked Jesus, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

 

The answer to this man’s question is found, not by focusing the spotlight on us and our works of love for the neighbor – as good and necessary as those are – but upon Jesus crucified and his work for us. Not in looking inward for our love of others, but to see Jesus as the Good and Perfect Samaritan who comes and finds us lost, and outcast, and left for dead on the side of the road. And in him, then, we live in response and love for others.

 

If this parable is only about what you do to be a Good Samaritan. Inherit eternal life. Love the Lord your God with everything you are and have and love your neighbor as yourself, then we’re all as good as dead. We’re in the ditch beaten and bloodied and on the road along with that certain man in the story.

 

And, as odd as it might sound at first, that’s exactly where Jesus wants us. To see in our need for the rescue Jesus brings. And to find in the rescue Jesus our Good Samaritan gives us, a love that is so great it can’t help but love others.

 

After all, if anyone is like the Samaritan, it’s Jesus. Jesus is the Good Samaritan who rescues us, pulls us out of the ditch. Binds our wounds in his. Carries us with him to the cross. Everything we need is charged to his account. Jesus is the Good Samaritan. Jesus loves the Lord his God with all his heart, all his soul, all his strength, all his mind. Jesus loves the neighbor as himself, even those who hated and rejected him. Jesus perfectly walks in the Father’s words and ways and will. Jesus became that Good Samaritan who bent down in compassion to rescue us. Jesus loved His neighbor and He loved God. He fulfilled the Law with His love. And he does this for you. To save you. And to send you out as his good Samaritans in love for others.

 

In His love for us, for all of humanity, for His whole creation, Jesus joined us in the ditch. Jesus became the man who fell among thieves, crucified between two of them, bloodied and beaten by a world who did not want Him or His way of salvation. Left for dead on the cross, crucified and risen for you. What the Law demands – and what we have not done – Jesus does and gives for you. Jesus helps us who can never help ourselves. He washes away our blood with his own healing blood. He strips himself and wraps us in own garments of righteous love.

 

As St. Paul proclaims: He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The story of the Good Samaritan is the story of Jesus’ compassion towards us. It is the story of his self-giving, self-denying love for us.

 

And, in Christ our Good Samaritan, it’s also the story of our love for others. In this parable, we each have our part to play as well. The role of Christ to our neighbor, friend, family, coworker, the person in line next to you at Safeway. The guy honking his horn behind you at the gas station. The unborn. The defenseless. The poor. The needy. The helpless and vulnerable.

 

Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

 

Someone once said that telling people the Good News of Jesus crucified for them is like one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. Our life of love, compassion, and good works for our neighbor works the same way. Each one of us are fellow dead-beat sinner-saints rescued from the ditch, called to share Jesus’ mercy and compassion with those who are in the ditch with us. We love because he first loved us. This is what we do – we go to our neighbors in the ditch, because that is what God has done for us in Jesus.

 

Jesus is the Good Samaritan and in him, you are good Samaritans as well.

 

Beloved, let us love one another, as Christ has loved us.

 

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

Contact

Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977