Sunday, July 10, 2016

Bloody Ramadan versus the Parable of the Good Samaritan

This Sunday as we recover from a particularly bloody Ramadan, many Christians will sit and listen to Luke 10:25-37 and the parable of the Good Samaritan,

 "Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall 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 your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ 
 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’"
How I wish that this simple rule, "love your neighbor as yourself" and the parable that follows were taught in the mosques, madrasas, and by the internet purveyors of death who instead teach violent jihad. If it were better known, then maybe there would be fewer terrorist acts.

What chance is there for those who dwell in countries where Christianity is suppressed or persecuted? They will never hear the words of Jesus unless we tell them.

I doubt that any will stumble upon this lowly blog. My visitor map rarely sees any traffic from Islamic nations.

After a brief web search, I came back disappointed by how difficult it might be for a Muslim to get the support on-line they might need to learn more about the Jesus that we Christians have come to accept as Lord.

It looks like boots on the ground are going to have to do this the old fashioned way winning one soul at a time.

“I have received no assurance that anything we can do will eradicate suffering. I think the best results are obtained by people who work quietly away at limited objectives, such as the abolition of the slave trade, or prison reform, or factory acts, or tuberculosis, not by those who think they can achieve universal justice, or health, or peace. I think the art of life consists in tackling each immediate evil as well as we can.”―C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory) h/t Sarah
During the course of my daily Bible studies, I found some parallels between the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:31-46,
The Sheep and the Goats“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
When I think of all of those who have been deprived of the Good News of Jesus, I can picture them as beaten and bloodied by their lives without Christ, in desperate need of a Samaritan to bind their wounds and help restore them to health through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I think the Good Samaritan of today will be counted among the sheep.

I'll give you one guess as to who will be among the goats. 


  1. It is in the activities of daily living (ADL's) that we attack evil by doing good. And we all know who the good samaritan is.

    1. Yep, read your sermon.

    2. Pewster,
      Thanks. Much of our recent lectionary readings are on proper conduct and good works as a response to God's grace. There is so much suffering and injustice in our world today and God is continually reminding me not to ruminate about it. "Do Good"