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A Good Sermon on the Good Samaritan

Here is an excellent sermon on the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) by Rev. Edward Markquart. Markquart's site is a frequent stop in my sermon preparation, and I particularly like this one. My sermon is almost, but not quite yet done. Sometimes I read something so good when I'm preparing for a sermon but I just can't fit it in to the direction I'm heading.

Something I wanted to use this week - this "parable about a parable" that Markquart shares:

A parable about a parable. One day a priest went to visit the Jericho Road. He was a
very religious man, and he saw somebody who had been hurt on the Jericho Road, and he was mortified. He came and gave that person the last rites, and he quickly ran back to his parish as fast as he could. The following Sunday, he gave a sterling sermon about the Jericho Road, and he felt so much better. ... Then there was a pastor who went down to the Jericho Road and he was appalled by what he saw. It was awful on the Jericho Road, and so he came back to his church, and do you know what he did? He taught a course called, “The Biblical Understanding and Perspective of Poverty.” They showed films of people who were being beaten up on the Jericho Road, and everybody felt rotten, but they all felt so good that they had finally done something for the people on the Jericho Road. ... There was still another person. He was a revivalist. Now, he didn’t go to the Jericho Road, but he saw it on television. He then gathered 65,000 people together in the Jerusalem Dome, and they sang songs about the Jericho Road. You should have seen them, with their microphones and all the spotlights. How they sang and prayed so beautifully about the Jericho Road. ... Then, there was this left wing activist who went to the Jericho Road, and he was incensed. He was angry by what he saw. He was an angry man, and he came back and he organized demonstrations in the cities. He got all the young people out of the high schools, colleges and graduate schools; they shut down the universities and they marched on the Jerusalem Monument of the capitol city. Yes, they were very active for the people on the Jericho Road. ... But then there was a person on the political right, and he went down to the Jericho Road and did he see that we had moral decay in this country of ours. He thought, “We’ve got to solve this problem; we’ve got to raise employment and change the economy so there won’t be so much violence on the Jericho Road.” So what did he do? He lessened taxes for the rich, so the rich would have more money to make investments so there would be more jobs for the poor, and he increased the sales tax on the poor, so all people could help pay for the costs of maintaining the Jericho Road. ... While the priest and the pastor and the revivalist and the left wing activist and the right wing moralist were all busy, the man on the Jericho Road died.


Anonymous said…
Is it really a parable about being *more* involved in helping people?

Or, since it is addressed to someone who was trying to earn their salvation by the law, is it a parable about being saved by grace and not by works?

Jesus ends by telling the lawyer, do likewise. But having just discovered that everybody in need is his neighbor, how can he possibly help everyone in need?

The answer is, he can't. Because we don't inherit eternal life by helping our neighbor. That is, by keeping the law.

We inherit eternal life by the grace of God.
Beth Quick said…
Anonymous - thanks for your thoughts.

I don't see Markquart as addressing being more or less involved in helping - I think he's talking about whether we really want to be neighbors or just talk about being neighbors (at least that's how I read what he's saying)... No, certainly we can't help everybody - but I don't think that's the message Jesus is trying to convey. Grace, yes - always. But I think Jesus is reminding us that we find God when we start seeing our neighbors...
Greg Hazelrig said…
Almost makes me want to preach on the Good Samaritan this week. :)
Anonymous said…
pastor mark fundoh. great information. while we get busy playing around with important things, the victims get to die. i think its time to come down to the level of people who are hurting and help them to our own level.
Anonymous said…
Not that good - I've seen a good many "right wing moralists" and "revivalists" actually out there in the world quietly helping those in need, while also raising awareness that there are people in need.
Anonymous said…
I want to preach this another way. Things we should pass up and let die. Not our neighbors or other human beings of course but this could be used to teach on the crucifixtion of some of the things the thief will put in our path.

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