Sabbath School Commentary for discussion on Sabbath, May 30, 2015
One of the scripture passages for this week’s lesson is the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 6:25-37), one of the most iconic stories in the Bible. The expression “Good Samaritan” is indeed proverbial, in that even people who have never heard the story, much less read the Bible, know what it means: someone who goes out on a limb to help someone else, often a stranger.
Sabbath School commentary for discussion on Sabbath, April 25, 2015
Across a span of 6 chapters (Luke 5 to 10), Luke describes Jesus’ call to his disciples: Peter, James, and John, summoned from their fishing nets (5:1-11), Levi Matthew from the tax booth (5:27-31), and the twelve from among a much larger group of followers (6:12-16).
Many of you may be familiar with the statement by C.S. Lewis that for every one book we read by our contemporaries we should read five books written in another age. His premise is that every age has its own set of blind spots and that the best way to become aware of the blind spots in our own is to expose our selves to an age that did not share them. All week long, as I reflected on the lesson passage, Luke worked to that end in me, giving me a glimpse of an age not nearly so preoccupied with the self as our own.
This evangelist is generally supposed to have been a physician, and a companion of the apostle Paul. The style of his writings, and his acquaintance with the Jewish rites and usages, sufficiently show that he was a Jew, while his knowledge of the Greek language and his name, speak his Gentile origin. He is first mentioned (Acts 16:10-11), as with Paul at Troas, whence he attended him to Jerusalem, and was with him in his voyage, and in his imprisonment at Rome.
The Bible is pretty clear about the staggering toll assessed against the proud, the arrogant, the boastful. Legal, prophetic, wisdom, song, story, and apocalyptic literature in both testaments regularly embed sentiments which dog the steps of those who think themselves special, better, advantaged. Consider passages like “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn” (Isa 14:12); “How the mighty have fallen…” (2 Sam 1); “Pride goes before destruction …” (Prov 16:18); “I have need of nothing … you are wretched …” (Rev 3:15-22).