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Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Story of the Good Samaritan (and Justification)

Everyone knows the story of the Good Samaritan... there are even Good Sam RV campgrounds with a picture of a man with a halo implying he was "good" and destined for heaven.

And probably most people know the story was presented by Jesus himself.  The whole account is given in Luke 10:25-37.

But what was it that prompted Jesus to tell the Story of the Good Samaritan?  Why would he give such a detailed account of all the good deeds of the Samaritan in contrast to other seemingly "good" people such as a priest and a Levite?

It was in response to a certain lawyer.  What was it about this lawyer that caused Jesus to give the true teaching of the Law?  It was because of this:
Luke 10:29 - But he, willing to justify himself, ...

It was because the lawyer wanted to justify himself. How?  By his good deeds.  How I struggled with this whole account of the Good Samaritan!  Jesus did not give the man the Gospel, he gave him the Law!  Why Jesus would you do this?

And Jesus answers: Do you too want to justify yourself?

And at the moment that God re-kindled my faith again, I had to answer: No Lord.  I can't justify myself, but you have already done it for me on the cross.  I know this only because you have justified the whole world apart from anything I have done.

This is what C.F.W. Walther taught - Universal, Objective Justification! (the Gospel)

2 comments:

  1. Good insights. I preached on this text today. The sermon is posted at The South Texas Lutheran.

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  2. Pastor Eckert:
    You don't know how welcome your message was to me when it came to me on Sunday, September 2, 2012. The whole truth of the Bible is summed up in this account and your sermon is one in which the Christian faith is built up.
    I am going through a particularly rough exchange in my current blog postings with another Lutheran pastor... a pastor who may not see the spiritual message in the account of the Good Samaritan.

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