2/17 Luke 10:25-42 “Loving God+Loving Neighbor” Ryan
25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ 27He 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 neighbor as yourself.’ 28And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’
29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ 30Jesus 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. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34He 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. 35The 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.” 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ 37He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ 41But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’
- In May, 2011 Bethlehem Covenant Church approved the following Mission Statement:
“Loving God+Loving Neighbor.”
- How do you feel about our Mission Statement?
- Is it an accurate description of who we currently are?
- Is it a realizable aspiration for the future?
- Luke 10:27-28 is often described as “The Great Commandment.” Are there other Christ-like values that are not expressed up in the lawyer’s summary of the law?
- The lawyer sought to justify his behavior asking Jesus “Who is my neighbor?” When our congregation brainstormed our answer to this question some of the answers we received were: Children, unemployed, gay, international students and families, evicted, divorced families, other churches, immigrants, occultists, cancer sufferers, foreigners, youth, the unchurched.
- Who else do we need to add to that list?
- How are we doing loving these neighbors?
- How can we better love our neighbors?
- How would you want to experience love if you were the stranger?
- Martha and Mary were both devoted followers of Jesus. There is great meaning in working hard as there is great meaning of abandoning all distractions and giving all your attention to Christ the Lord.
- Who do you suspect is the older sister Mary or Martha? Why?
- Who do you relate to: Martha or Mary?
- If you resonate with Martha, how can you take the time to slow down and spend time with God this week?
- If you resonate with Mary, how do you balance your spiritual life and your daily responsibilities?
- Is Jesus fair to Martha?
- In many ways Martha and Mary’s story is a commentary on the Great Commandment. Mary loves the love the Lord her God with all her heart, and with all her soul, and with all her strength, and with all her mind. Martha’s hospitality demonstrates her love of neighbor. Both are essential and both are supposed to draw us closer to God. Martha seems to forget that whatever we say and whatever we do we should do it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- When have you ever been so distracted doing something “good” or “Godly” that you forgot that the point is to be close to Jesus?
- How can we love our neighbors in such a way that they too are drawn near to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
- Bonus question if you have the time:
What similarities can you identify between Martha and Mary and the older and younger brothers in the story of the Prodigal Son?