Jesus, the Basics: Basic teachings
Sunday, February 25, 2018 – 10:00am
The Lent series called Revisiting Jesus continues. This week’s theme is Basic Teachings.
Most people have outdated and examined assumptions about Jesus that were often created when they were children. Many people have beliefs about Jesus that are more central to their understandings than knowledge of the actual teachings of Jesus. It is useful from time to time to begin from the basics and reconstruct our faith understandings of Jesus to make sure that we are rally hearing how God is speaking through us to this generation.
Sunday’s scripture revisits the bottom line teaching of Jesus, and presents the radical interpretation of the traditional Jewish law that is typical of many of his teachings. Jesus was a rabbi, a travelling Jewish teacher. But his version of the tradition enhanced the traditional teachings with new levels of compassion and care.
Luke 10:25-37 Common English Bible
A legal expert stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to gain eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?”
He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”
But the legal expert wanted to prove that he was right, so he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied, “A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He encountered thieves, who stripped him naked, beat him up, and left him near death. Now it just so happened that a priest was also going down the same road. When he saw the injured man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. Likewise, a Levite came by that spot, saw the injured man, and crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’ What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?”
Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
The story of the Good Samaritan is very familiar, but it clearly is not being heard by our political leadership, or is it represented in the way that the Sacramento community responds to immigrants, to homeless people or victims of economic injustice.
As you reflect on your own life of faith, do you sense that love of God, neighbor and self are in balance with each other?
Prayers please for:
Ginny Baldauf, Peggy & Paul Blankenship, Ruth Burgess, Peggy Fenimore-Brown, Matt Hidalgo, Joseph Lappia, Michael Langham, Betty Metcalf, Steve Mitchell, Dick Smith