When you hear the story from the ears of the Jews to whom Jesus was speaking, you begin to realize the Samaritan wasn’t seen to be such a “Good” guy. In fact, Jesus using the Samaritan as the faithful one was offensive at best. This kind of radical love is missed when we assume the Samaritan was just a kind passer-by.
Editorial additions to the Biblical text, like section headers, often impact our ability to faithfully hear Jesus’ words. To understand the parables, like that of the lost sheep, coin, and son, we have to strip away 2000 years of explanatory interpretations to rehear Jesus’ words with the ears of the Pharisees.
If we want transformation for the world toward the kin-dom of God, as we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “thy Kingdom come,” it isn’t going to happen through vengeance and repaying evil for evil. It’s going to happen through love and through embodying God’s amazing good-ness.
It’s hard to image a world with no war, no competition, no division, and no sorrow. For us, it might even be unimaginable. But, this is exactly the body God has created in Christ. This is exactly the body empowered by God with the Spirit. This is the beauty of humanity formed by God in creation.
In times of hardship, despair, and trials on the journey of faithfulness, we may wonder, God, what do you want from us?! We are not the first to ask such a question, nor are we the first to receive such an answer: act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord.
The Trinity is not just a confusing theological argument for Christianity being a monotheistic faith, it’s a joyful proclamation that God, in the person of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, has maintained a central focus of giving, redeeming, and reconciling the life of creation.
As Christ ascended, he promised to send *another* advocate, so that the work of God, the work done by Christ, the Word exemplified in Christ, the grace extended through Christ, the mercy offered out of Christ, the love witnessed because of Christ – that all these works may not cease to be, but that we, empowered by the Spirit, might continue these works, and to do even greater works still to come.
The power of God is not offered for our tribe, our kingdom, or our gain. Christ’s ascension is just another necessary action of God in critique of the self-motivation of disciples. Christ once more calls us to be prepared for the Spirit to lead us in dispersing power as we share God’s love with all persons, even to the ends of the earth.
Jesus is not interested in saving a few at the expense of the masses. Jesus seeks to ensure equality and equal access for all, despite who it upsets or what rules he breaks to make it happen.
The resurgence we proclaim in Christ and in creation is the affirmation that God is not just making new things but rather, God is making all things new.