Saturday, September 01, 2007

Parable of the Good Samaritan

I'm sick of the constant derision the Gospel message undergoes. I went to the Wikipedia tonight to see what it said about the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It was as I expected. I added the Minority View to the page. I didn't think my editing would survive the editorial staff at Wikipedia if I gutted the page and claimed I was presenting the majority view. The Gospel really is the minority view - the narrow way that leads to life.

For now my edits stand on the page:

but in case they delete them, here is what I said:

Minority View

According to the minority view, understanding this parable requires recognizing the importance of the Lawyer's perspective. He began to test Jesus in Luke 10:25. His particular goal of questioning was to determine what he might do himself to obtain eternal life. Jesus answers with the tall, unreachable standard of loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind as well as loving your neighbor as yourself. He says do this and you will live, that is, you will have eternal life. Now the key comes in Luke 10:29 where it is revealed that the lawyer wanted to justify himself. In other words, he wanted to be able to claim he had accomplished what was required by the standard Jesus cited. He wanted to feel like he was good enough to qualify for eternal life. In order to do this, this man wanted a definition of neighbor that was not too challenging for him to say that he loved that person. Now, in presenting the Parable, Jesus provides an answer that is intended to set the standard high. The one you should consider your neighbor is the person you believe is the most undesirable. You have to love that person as yourself if you want to qualify yourself for eternal life. The point of Jesus' statements was to drive this lawyer to despair of his own efforts to qualify for eternal life. This conclusion is applied to all people. None can be that good or meet God's standard. Instead, the good news points us to another source for our righteousness and goodness that qualifies us for eternal life once we give up on finding it in ourselves. See also: Divine grace.

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