Every morning I awake, I seem to be offered new insights into the scriptures? Why not, for He is new every morning!
These past two or three mornings there has been a growing sense of message in me after having read Luke 9. There, Jesus was sending out the twelve, giving them power to “drive out demons and to cure diseases.” (NIV) Notice the mission, not to plant churches in suburban communities, but to go to the sick and the demon possessed, the hard and messy cases.
Then for the first time, I think I understood who the Good Samaritan was, it was Christ himself, the God-Samaritan. We are the Samaritans, the fallen, infected by the outcast of heaven; in fact, just verses before in Luke 9:51, the disciples (gotta love ‘em, redeemed but still real) were asking if they might call down fire from heaven because a Samaritan Village which “did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.” Not even these desperate people would receive the Christ due to their own ethnic bias; possibly another subtle statement to imply all humanity’s rejection of the cross, awaiting Him in Jerusalem?
Jesus then later offers a parable and who does he exalt, a Samaritan! In fact, He puts himself in their skin, for the Good Samaritan is who He was. He became one of the very lot who rejected Him, mankind. Then this God-Samaritan (each word as distant from the other as east is from west) demonstrated His vision for a redeemed people, the Church. This God-man, in the face of the rejection by the religious (Levites), crossed the street (the religious railroad tracks, the inner city highways that divide) and took pity on this suffering man (the diseased, the demon possessed, the addict, the homeless, the derelict). “He went to him,” not waiting until that one saw the light and came to some church campus across town! He “bandaged his wounds, pouring in the oil and the wine,” provided transportation (his own donkey) to an inn (could this be another reference to the church; the use of the word inn strategic as there is still no room for Him in some of them?) and “took care of him.”
Here is the revelation; he then gave him to the innkeeper, yes the church, the Ecclesia. Just as He had sent out the twelve to do the dirty work of ministry on His fallen globe, He told the “innkeeper” to “look after him, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” When I return? Think about it!
God became flesh, yes, sinful flesh, our flesh, though He knew no sin, so that we might become the righteousness of Christ. That’s the model and caring for those in that transition is the mission of the church. In fact, the Beatitudes describe the people that will be able to accomplish these tasks, the poor in spirit, those who understand mourning, the meek, who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and yes those willing to be persecuted (not necessarily prospered)!
God restore the Church to the persona which you originally ordained, not the materialistic, the nationalistic, and the religious but “the poor in spirit, the…” incapable of supporting the claims currently justified of the American church!