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Lent 2 Midweek

Luke's Parables  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Lent Midweek II Jonah 2 Philippians 1:19-2:11 Luke 10:25-37 #3 Pastor James Peterson 3/16/2022 Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The theme for this evening is this: The Good Samaritan cares of each of his neighbors more than we deserve. One of the most important questions for me to figure out right now is this, "Who are my neighbors?" First, "Who are my members?" Then, "Who else needs the Gospel?" And finally, "Who are my next door neighbors?" For me, it is as simple as the two finger wave over the steering wheel in some cases. In other cases, I find people who really want to talk with me, and who really need me to pray for them. But this all started with a different question from the lawyer: "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" That question I have figured out. It's the wrong question. There is nothing I can do to inherit eternal life. But that isn't really Jesus' point in this parable. What Jesus finds tricky is that pronoun "I." At the end of the day, the lawyer believes in himself, trusts his life is under control, and thinks that he can really save himself from death and hell. The examples of this in our world are numerous. If I only do this, then I will stay alive. If I only do that, then I will be happy. If I only owned one of these, then I would be cool. If there was only more money, then there would be less problems for me. The lawyer is selfish and self-righteous. And there is one thing he is forgetting. "Who is my neighbor?" We, beloved flock, we have to trust God that He will take care of us. And we have to trust one another in this congregation that we will take care of one another. It is as the catechism says, "I believe that God has made me and all creatures, that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them." He still takes care of them. He will take care of them. And He gives us more than we deserve. "He gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life." This that we think is ours is all His. This that we love, He gives to us because He loves us. This is how He takes care of us. What we have to ask ourselves is this: "Who else needs to hear the Gospel?" When we ask that question, it removes the "me focus." For the answer is easy: everybody needs to hear the Gospel. Everybody needs to know they are taken care of. Everyone needs to know Jesus, the Good Samaritan. This is the mission of our church, and it is up to us to proclaim Christ to our community in the ways that we can. This is best done by compassionate examples. "What would Jesus do?" He would see him, and have compassion on him. He would go to him and bind up his wounds. He would put him in the car and take him home and take care of him. And anything else he would need, Jesus would cover it. Because that is how God has blessed you up until now. Because that is how God has loved you up until now. You already know how God the Father has shown that He takes care of you, and you know that it is true. He "defends you against all danger and guards and protects you from all evil." Why? "All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in us." God the Father, the Good Samaritan, cares for each of His neighbors more than they deserve. And God the Son, who tells to us this parable, takes care of us more than we deserve as well. God the Son, the Good Samaritan, does His work on the Sabbath, healing, forgiving, and teaching. He finds the men who fall among robbers, the sinners, the tax collectors, the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the mute. And He has compassion on them. He had compassion on them then, and He still shows to us compassion now. For His work is still done on the Sabbath among us today, and He is much more than our neighbor. He is our Lord and our Savior. He still forgives and He still teaches us through His Word and Sacraments. It does not matter who we are, Jesus still loves us. It does not matter what has happened, Jesus still loves us. We still pray for all people according to their needs, and we know that our Lord answers our prayers. "What would Jesus do?" He laid down His life for His friends, for His neighbors, for you and for me. Jesus takes care of us, even unto death, that we would live forever with him. It's more than we deserve, but it's exactly how much God loves us. In the holy name of Jesus. Amen.
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