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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

‘Just’ What Authority does the ‘Good Samaritan’ have to Save us? ...All!

 
Prologue:

The popular parable of the Good Samaritan [Luke 10:25-36] highlights the Christian view on kindness towards fellow man or woman in their time of need. However, could this inconspicuous narrative reveal a much fuller meaning of salvation? First let’s set the framework for this reflection. Man cannot save himself! [Luke 23:39] To be saved must be ordained from the Almighty, God the Father.

Psalm 37:39 says The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.”

Salvation’s History (refer to Outline Charts below);


It all starts from a certain cry:

A voice cries!: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken”. Isaiah 40:3-5; Matt 3:2

Basic Premise: The path of salvation commences with the cry of Abel the Just for Justice; and ends with the cry of Jesus for compassion.
Evolution of Salvation History: Battle for Justice

 
 
Battle for Justice Commentary:

The prophecy God pronounces in Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers”. In the end good and evil will be judged then will be separated (Matt 25:31-34). If we fulfil God’s commandments as the Good Samaritan duly did then we will be saved. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the offspring of the woman can be defined by the parable’s message. We know that the ‘woman’ cannot be Eve (Gen 2:23), but a ‘woman’ born again by the powers used in Genesis to form the earth in the beginning. Thereby the basis of this theological account is to show a pattern of how as man through Cain forced God away from himself, God commenced to lay the seed that would bring him back, for 'our hearts are restless until they rest in thee' (Matt.11:28, Isa.28:12).  

After Abel was slain for being righteous and his blood cried out from the ground (Gen 4:10). God commences on a spiritual journey to defeat man’s sinfulness and to bring him back to perfection. From the ‘Great Flood’, Noah and his family, Righteousness (Gen 6:9) has strived be victorious over unrighteousness. The parable can be viewed as an outline of how to live righteously. Moses and Jesus lead the people as Holy Scripture states in victories of both the mortal (bodily) and immortal (spiritual) aspects of mankind. With God’s plan of salvation then fulfilled, we have an opportunity to accept God’s offer to be saved. For those who wish with all their hearts to enter paradise must do so by changing their heart, in a fashion like the “penitent thief” on his cross (Luke 23:42-43). The merits of salvation are surely found not so much in the literal meaning of God’s commandments, but how they are served in the heart, spiritually.

The Hebrew Bible tells us of how God’s people, Abraham’s descendants, struggle serve the Lord as slave in Eygpt. God therefore commands Moses to lead them to exile into the wilderness, to find a promise land of milk and honey. The power of God is used to guide and protect the Israelites, who carry the seed of righteousness in blood and faith. Jericho represents a fortified city of sin, symbolically housing the serpent’s descendants, signifying the dominion on earth that had to be destroyed to enter the Promised Land.

After the miraculous and decisive victory, God tells Joshua of his oath. His proclamation indicates that this event is a major milestone in history of salvation over man’s mortality. For the city to raise again that cursed man would have to pay the price God had paid in Adam and Abel. The new city God establishes is at the price of His only begotten Son (refer to Table 6.)

The next phase was to defeat sin spiritually began with birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Consequently Jesus’ mission starts at the wedding feast at Cana, when he produced his first miracle of changing water into wine. John the Baptist prepares his path by calling people to repentance and renewal. To be baptised is a personal ‘fiat’ in the name of God, in the wilderness in the river Jordan.

Jesus has immense compassion treats the faithful as friends not servants (John 15:15; 2 Chron 20:7; Isaiah 41:8), is a blessing to others (Matt 11:4-6) and teaches the ways of God the Father. His mission is fulfilled with his death on the Cross and the giving up of his spirit into His Father’s hands. His Resurrection merits the creation of a new heaven and a new earth for the righteous to prosper for all eternity.

God’s authority to create and destroy according to His will, accomplishes a new beginning where everything is made new again (Rev 21:5). The nation of Israel’s active participation was plainly crucial to accomplish this decisive victory for all eternity; allowing for our own free-will to work together in righteousness to save souls by obeying God’s will through faith and good works. “Not my will, but your will be done.”

 Parable’s Perspective on Salvation:

The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:26-37) describes how salvation is merited. That is by tending to the needs of your neighbour who is mortally wounded whilst travelling to Jericho. If we interpret this journey in the context of the Book of Joshua, then they are akin to a faithful Israelite on their way to destroy the city of sin, a pilgrimage for righteousness sake. Hence, assume that the journey is one of faithful sanctification, validating the primary commandments of devotion to serving God’s cause for our lives.    

We can look upon the fallen victim as being in a mortally wounded state caused by sin and the effects of sinners or robbers. Whose intention is to deprive God the joy of being united with his creation made in his image. It is useful also to view Christ’s journey to Jericho as suffering the same fate, left mortally dead on the Cross.   

The Robbers are the wicked sinners, the unrighteous who use what limited authority they have with violence, to tempted, demoralise and ensnare their victims to fall into being dispossessed of their virtue and innocence, namely their dignity endowed by God.

The passersby represent the self-righteous, who are cold-hearted (Matt 3:7-8) and tepid, although faithfully travel towards Jericho with good intentions, fail to serve justly, having a subjective, and inward-looking form of sanctification.

The Good Samaritan, are the righteous, who faithfully serve God’s commandments, with full divine authority to heal and inspire them to persevere on the right path. There are three persons who justly fulfil this virtuous role. Firstly, God the Father, who receives his only, begotten Son upon the resurrection. After which Christ’s authority is used to establish his Church, to cleanse our own sins, in the form of oil and wine for anointing and redemption by the precious Blood. Lastly, the faithful who are tasked imitate God to tend to our neighbours sins using his grace merited on the Cross. Thereby achieving due unity and oneness with God, in a similar affiliation as Adam was with Eve (Gen 2:24). Excellent examples that demonstrate this point are the Jewish mitzvot and Mother Teresa’s missionaries in serving the poor. This person is true to their responsibility as an active steward in a civilised society crying to be blessed with prosperity.

The Innkeeper represents the Church (ccc.1465) as  distributors of the sacraments that allows grace to heal within the house of the Lord. Also to act with responsibility as servants to those in spiritual need, particularly the poor and a basis for evangelisation of the 'Good News'!

Payment for services rendered (Luke 10:35) presently and at the end of Time, when you will be judged according to the likeness of Christ’s heart for God and his neighbour (1 John 2:29). Two Denarii was given for the present. This is translated to; a few days lodgings in societal terms; Jesus’ Body and Blood (Matt 26:26-29) in our Saviours terms and a new Heaven and Earth in God the Father’s Kingdom (Rev 21:1).

Subsequently when viewed in this light main points can be noted which increase our merit of being saved. These are:

·         Journey to Jericho is a pilgrimage to become sanctified before God;

·        Our neighbour is anyone who requires help to live a more holy life and journey towards sanctification;

·        The Good Samaritan seeks to assist the sinner to be more righteous by using moral support or encouraging them to be an active within the Church and evangelising the faith.

·        The innkeeper’s are spiritual physicians addressing all wounds from sin applying the Church's doctrine.

·        Another benefit of the parable is to define what constitutes virtue. As, are we not tasked to use the gifts given by God as we consider suitable, to satisfying his Will.

Biblical References supporting Theme:

Comparable themes between Hebrew & Christian Bibles
Nos.
Mortal Victory - Hebrew
Immortal Victory – Christianity
1
A call for Israelites to follow
Isaiah 40:3-5
A call for Nations to repentance
Matt 3:2
2
The angel’s sword.
Josh 5:13
Christ’s sword of Judgement
Rev. 2:16
3
Ark of the Covenant
Josh 6:6
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Ark of the New Covenant
Luke 1:35; Rev 12:5-6; CCC. 2676
4
7 days encircling Jericho
Josh 6:3-4
7 days of Creation
Gen. 1;2:1-3
5
City of Sin Destruction
Josh 6:17
New Heaven & Earth
Rev. 21:1-8
6
Oath: Cursed be the man who builds a new Jericho, paying the price of his first born & youngest son.
Josh 6:26
Cost of the new city of Holiest was His only begotten Son.
Matt 3:17; Gen 4:10-11
7
Jerusalem
Zech 8:3
New Jerusalem
Rev 21:9-27
8
Render True Judgment
Zech 7:9-10
Sheep will be separated to Goats
Matt 25:31-46

Conclusion:

This more objective interpretation of this parable highlights how salvation can be viewed more fully as well as more practically. The emphasis being that love is best expressed with action. Not merely to be loved but to love.

Christ completed mission reflects the righteousness, pleasing to God the Father. Therefore ‘to do likewise’ (Luke 10:37) we can be assured to imitate perfection, the kind that saves us all! 

History is full of man’s victories and catastrophes forming the rise and fall of nations, races and empires. Life is full of people who seek military solutions. Yet the ‘meaning of life’ remains elusive or vague to those outside organised religions. I hope that this earnest attempt to depict the means of salvation in a more coherent way, serves to boost the faith and encourage peaceful relations between not only Judeo-Christian religions, but also all Abrahamic-based faiths.

To succeed in serving your neighbour in the true sense, “Fraternity” is very much at the heart of all relationships we encounter each and every day.

‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love’. 1 John 4:8.