Jul8WedJuly 8, 2020
Good morning Church,
Happy Victoria Day - the official start of summer! It certainly is different this year with social distancing rules. What we are seeing is some people interpret the rules differently than others. Some choose to obey the Law to the letter, while others look for loopholes, and re-interpret it to their own benefit. This takes us to our reading for the week - Luke 10:25-42: the "Parable of the Good Samaritan" & "At the home of Mary and Martha".
An expert in the Law (a lawyer) was challenging the Author of the Law on how to interpret it - verse 29 says it all: "He wanted to justify himself". There is the spirit behind this interaction - a religious, proud, arrogant man wanted to challenge Jesus on how to interpret the rules, and camouflages the conversation in an "eternal life" discussion. Jesus quickly flips the conversation back on the man to find how where he is coming from, "How do you read it" (v. 26). The man knows the law (v.27), but can he live it - "Do this and you will live" (v.28). Sounds like the apostles James (James 1:22-25), and Paul (Romans 2:13).
Jesus gives the man an illustration of applying the law of love - minister to those in need. In His illustration (parable), Jesus clearly demonstrates that it is not necessarily the religious who understand the law and live it (ie. the priest and levite), but rather the one we least expect to be able to understand and apply the law (ie. the Samaritan). The contrast between the two is stark: the religious ones who know the law, completely ignore applying it because of their own prejudices (no love demonstrated), whereas the one who knows it least, applies it to the full (complete sacrificial love). Its about MERCY - LOVE APPLIED.
Secondly, the story of Martha and Mary illustrates this even further. Martha had created a law for herself to obey a whole list of things to do when someone comes to your house. Martha's time was not well spent, where as Mary chooses to love Jesus by spending time with Him.
Luke places these two stories side by side. Is the message: Love is demonstrated by how you spend your time with people. Will you give your time to help someone in need? Will you give your time to sit with someone and treat them as more important than the things you have to do? Now you are meddling with me Jesus! Is it not interesting that one of the Five Love Languages is "quality time". Could you imagine a world where people take time to just be with each other; where parents spend quality time with their children; where spouses actually still take time to date, even after they are married. True love is giving of oneself to another - giving your time is a demonstration of sacrificial love. Maybe God has allowed Covid-19 - hours of lock down with nothing to do - so we could learn to just spend quality time with each other. You want to be a Good Samaritan and a Mary... show your love by spending quality time with someone - help someone in need; just sit with someone.
Have a great week!