FIRSTFRUITS – OUR BEST
Read: Luke 10:25-37
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (NIV Luke 10:25-37)
Study: Jesus did not dream up “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” as summaries of God’s desire for us. The words were found in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. Many rabbis and religious experts quoted them. But Jesus’ stories, and his death on the cross, deepened the way we understand the expansive kind of love God offers us. In what ways does love, as Jesus defined it in this well-known story, differ from the love that we hear a lot about in popular culture? What kind of commitment, to God and to others, does it take to live out love in the way Jesus defined it?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I want to love as you love. I want to experience joy in whatever life brings my way. Amen.