The Dangerous Journey, Painted Papers, Marcia Carole
I am finishing up another book; the base of the accordion book is drying overnight. Hopefully, I will paste all the “pages” onto the base tomorrow. I enjoy the symbol of the suitcase for the idea of journey, a trip, an adventure, or a chapter of one’s life. This particular story is told by Jesus when confronted by a quizical teacher of the Jewish law.
The teacher wants to shame Jesus, make Him look unschooled in the law, or, more likely, get out of really doing the law. The teacher wants to skirt the full force of the law he so “appreciates.” He wants to know who he needs to be neighborly toward. Perhaps, the teacher hopes not everyone to be his neighbor – especially Samaritans and other ethnic low lives, in his opinion.
Jesus uses story to share His heart for all mankind, and, I imagine, He is hoping to transform the teacher’s heart. Jesus teaches through story to help the teacher see how he is falling quite short of keeping the law. The teacher has studied the law diligently, but where is the doing of it? Jesus winsomely reveals the teacher’s hypocracy and what genuine love of neighbor to be.
To know the laws of God versus to love them, thus “do” the laws, are two different things. One thing I see in this passage is: loving God’s laws and doing them, can only happen through transformation – from encounters with Jesus – in my heart. Knowing the law, and being proud about that accomplishment, can be a block or idol in the transformation process. Hypocracy blocks Genuine Love.
Jesus creates transformation in the teacher’s heart; we see this in the concluding dialogue:
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:36,37