Lots of people know the story of the Good Samaritan. Fewer know why Jesus told it. But the start of the conversation between Jesus and the law expert is often lost altogether. The lawyer asked “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
What would you reply if someone asked you that question?
Jesus’ answer is full of wisdom (bearing in mind that he is the Lamb of God, whose death will provide the eternal life being discussed!!). An “irish” version is: “you’re the expert – what do you think?” No answer at all. Just another question.
The law professor sums up the law into 2 commands, and Jesus scores his answer 100%. “Do this and you’re sorted.” Love the Lord your God with ALL of yourself all the time??? Love your neighbour as much as you love yourself??? What you want for yourself, you want for your neighbour too, just as much???
Correct answer. Fail the practical exam though. Doing it is what counts in God’s eyes. Not knowing.
So maybe a little help in the task of achieving eternal life might be needed after all?! Do you think the lawyer saw Jesus’ point?
A HUGE challenge to us here: In our appreciation that through Jesus we can be born into God’s family, and have his life in us, it is possible to forget that God’s standard hasn’t changed. It is still that we love him with everything in us, and that we love our neighbour (in the widest possible sense of neighbour) the way we love ourselves.