Year C : Trinity 5/Proper 10 The Good Samaritan : Luke 10:25-37
Have a "Tallest" Quiz
Starting with easier question and getting harder. The last is virtually impossible in case there are any 'know alls'. Once no-one know the answer end the quiz.
What is the Tallest Mountain
in the world?
Although Mt Everest is officially the highest mountain on Earth, the sneaky peaks of Mauna Kea have their own height record. Mauna Kea is a volcanic island rising from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The mountain's combined height is 10,205 m (33,480 ft), of which 4,205 m (13,796 ft) are above sea level. Mt Everest has a complete height above sea level of 8,848 m. (29,028.8 ft). Mauna Kea began erupting on the sea floor about 800,000 years ago.
What is the Tallest Mountain
in the world?
The world's tallest free-standing tower is the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, which rises to a mighty 553.34 m (1,815 ft 5 in). The 185-storey, reinforced concrete building was designed by the Australian architect John Andrews. Work began on the 130,000-tonne building on February 12, 1973 and was finished on April 2, 1975. The tower includes a 416-seat restaurant, which revolves in a "Sky Pod" at 351 m (1,150 ft). Two million people visit the CN Tower every year.
What is the Tallest Living Tree in the world?
The world's tallest living tree is the Stratosphere Giant measuring 112.6 m (369 ft 4.8 in) as of 2002. This coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) was discovered by Chris Atkins (USA) in August 2000 in the Rockefeller Forest of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California, USA.
The precise location of the giant tree is always kept secret by the Park Rangers in case enthusiastic tree fans accidentally damage its fragile environment. The second tallest tree living, known as The Federation Giant, measures 112 m (368 ft) and also lives at the Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
Who was the Tallest Man
in the world?
The tallest man in medical history for whom there is irrefutable evidence is Robert Pershing Wadlow. He was born at Alton, Illinois, USA, on February 22, 1918, and when he was last measured on June 27, 1940, was found to be 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in) tall.
Who grew the Tallest Celery
Plant in the world?
Joan Priednieks of Weston Zoyland, Somerset, UK, grew a celery plant that measured 2.74-m (9-ft) tall in 1998. She bought the plant at a school fete in 1997. Joan says the celery is too tough to eat.
Not everybody got every question right. In today's gospel Jesus met a man who thought he had all the right answers. But then Jesus told him a story that showed he had got something very wrong...
10:25 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 neighbour 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 neighbour?" 30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of 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 travelled, 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, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins 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 neighbour 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."
A woman received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left work and stopped by the pharmacy for some medication for her daughter. When returning to her car to find she had locked her keys inside. She had to get home to her sick daughter, and didn't know what to do. She called her home to the baby sitter, and was told her daughter was getting worse. She said, "You might find a coat hanger and use that to open the door." The woman found an old rusty coat hanger on the ground, as if someone else had locked their keys in their car. Then she looked at the hanger and said, "I don't know how to use this. "She bowed her head and asked God for help.
An old rusty car pulled up, driven by a dirty, greasy, bearded man with a biker skull rag on his head. The woman thought, "Great God. This is what you sent to help me?" But she was desperate, and thankful. The man got out of his car and asked if he could help. She said "Yes, my daughter is very sick. I must get home to her. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?" He said, "SURE." He walked over to the car and in seconds the car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, THANK YOU SO MUCH.... You are a very nice man." The man replied, "Lady, I ain't a nice man. I just got out of prison for car theft. "The woman hugged the man again and cried out loud.... THANK YOU GOD FOR SENDING ME A PROFESSIONAL!"
Can you think of someone who you find difficult to like, or maybe of someone who finds you difficult to like?
What would your reaction be if they did something helpful for you. For example, if they are a neighbour what would you think if they received a parcel for you when you were out or offered to lend you a tool that you needed? Or if they are a colleague, what would be your reaction if they did some of your work when you were away because of sickness or holiday.
What would be your reaction if you had the chance to help that someone?
Until we start to think in this manner we cannot begin to comprehend how the idea of a good Samaritan would be offensive to most Jews in Jesus day.
The road from Jerusalem to Jericho snakes about 17 miles downhill through hills and rocky terrain. It was the ideal place for robbers and someone travelling alone may have been thought to be rather foolish. Someone might even have said that the beaten-up Jew was asking to be robbed. He was lying on the side of the road and was passed by a priest who is coming from Jerusalem having performed his religious duties there. He avoids the man as does the Levite. The priest's duties included offering sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Levite assisted in the maintenance of the Temple. Both were regarded as very religious and higher class. Yet both deliberately avoid the beaten up man. Their faith was not the life changing, radical faith that God requires. It was a formal religion that does not affect the way they lived.
This shows that sin is not solely about what we may do. It may also be something that we do not do. If we fail to help someone then we can be guilty. So the robbers perpetrated a sin of commission. They did something wrong. The priest and the Levite's sin was one of omission, failing to do something right and good.
In our culture the name Samaritan' is synonymous with good because of this parable. It was different in Jesus day. The Samaritans had been brought into Israel's Northern Kingdom by the King of Assyria about 700 years before. They had come from Babylon and other places and soon mixed with the Jews who lived there. They partly adopted the Jewish faith and had even built temples to rival the one in Jerusalem. One of these temples had been destroyed by a King of Israel about 150 years before. Only a few years after Jesus was born some Samaritans scattered bones in the Temple at Jerusalem during the Passover festival. So there had been hundreds of years of bitterness between the two races.
In modern day terms we can think of the hostility between members of the I.R.A. and U.V.F., between Serbs and Croats, between Palestinians and Jews. Perhaps we can think of people that we find difficult, perhaps whom we may regard as 'enemies', and consider how Jesus wants us to share his love with them ?
Yet, ignoring history, racial and social differences, the Samaritan had pity on this man. The word translated took pity refers to a deep feeling coming from ones bowels or intestines. This compassion took the form of practical help. He did not see a Jew but a fellow human being in need and the help he gave was costly. He would have ripped his own clothing to make the bandages, used his own wine to disinfect the wounds, his oil to soothe, his donkey to transport the man, and his money to pay for the inn. His love was not limited by it's object, and it was practical with no thought for any return.
Jesus asks the Jewish expert in the law a question with an obvious answer. Verse 36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?". The expert found it difficult to answer. This was because the real question Jesus poses is "Do I behave as a neighbour to those who need my love and help ? "
Such was the inbred hatred inside the expert, he couldn't even bring himself to say the word "Samaritan" never mind consider that he might help a Samaritan in distress. Jesus had exposed this expert as one who failed to live up to the Old Testament law because the expert could not have brought himself to care for a Samaritan in the way that this Samaritan had cared for the beaten-up Jew. Jesus final words, better translated "Go and continue to do likewise" underlined this.
If you were asked by someone, "What is the meaning of life?", how would you answer?
If we acknowledges the existence of God the answer may have something to do with what we think God's purpose is for us and other people.
The Westminster Catechism answers this question. It states, "Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever."
This parable of Jesus was prompted by the question. "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" verse 25.
By 'eternal life' the expert was probably thinking about what would happen to him once he died. In John 17: 3 Jesus said, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." So eternal life is about a relationship that starts in this life.
Perhaps, through this parable, this expert had realised that nothing he could "do" could earn him eternal life. Because it is an inheritance. It is about "being" not "doing". We need to BE in a personal relationship with God, through what his son has done , to gain that inheritance.
The Samaritan showed mercy to the Jew. He could have ignored him, he almost deserved it and it would be costly in terms of time, energy and money to help.
God has shown his mercy to us by sending Jesus to rescue us.
God is holy, morally perfect and cannot have a right relationship with those who reject Him and His ways. Even religious, generally respectable people like the expert in the law could not be good enough. The man started off wanting to justify himself, to establish that he was good enough for God. He thought that loving one's neighbour was limited to his fellow Jews. He ended up realising he was not good enough. He needed a saviour. We all need a saviour. Someone who will save us from the consequence of our sins. The Bible says that 'All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.' Romans 3:23. Note, the standard is not being a nice person but the glory of God. The glory of God is the pass mark and we all fall short of it. Some less than others but that doesn't matter. We all fail. The pass mark is 100% and it doesn't matter if you've got 50% or 80%, it is still a fail.
The only person who got 100% is Jesus. He loved God with His whole being all of the time. He always loved others more than himself. This is what led Him to the cross. There, he not only endured terrible physical pain and humiliation, He also suffered the bereavement of being cut off from God the Father. This was because He took upon himself the punishment for the sins of the world. He received the punishment for the times you and I have failed to love God and failed to love other people. For the times we have harmed people, for the times we have failed to help people. For the times we have rebelled against God and the times we have ignored Him.
The Jew was half dead when he received mercy from the Samaritan.
The only requirement for anyone to receive the mercy of God is to realise that their relationship with him is dead. That in itself is a work of God. He gives life through Jesus. Jesus rose from death on the third day. This showed that His self-sacrifice on the cross had been accepted by God the Father. It showed that death had been defeated and need be feared no more. It showed that the way to eternal life is open. And because Jesus is alive forever we can know Him as our friend and Saviour today and into eternity.
We need to be united with Him. We need to have died to our old way of living. Turning from a life following our own way to a life devoted to following God's way. Then we will know resurrection life, a right relationship with God forever and a day.
That is the invitation. What must I do to inherit eternal life? You receive an inheritance. You receive it because you have a relationship with the one who gives you the inheritance. Eternal life is just a prayer away for those who want to receive God's mercy.