July 14, 2019

The Compassionate One

A sermon by Reverend Catherine Putnam-Netto

In classic form, Jesus turns the lawyer’s question back to him and asks, “Now think clearly dear lawyer, who of the three was the neighbor to the one half-dead in the ditch?” “Wait” says the lawyer, “I asked you who is my neighbor? Who is the one who would be worth my time to care for?” Good grief, all he wanted was to know the limits on whom he is to love - and Jesus hits him with this. The term ‘question’ comes from the shorter word ‘quest’, meaning ‘to search out,’ ‘to go on a journey’. And Jesus takes the lawyer on a quest beyond the reaches of his belief and the boundaries of his compassion, and then shoves him over the limit!  After a moment, the lawyer grudgingly replies – “I guess, I suppose it was the one who had compassion.”  He can’t even use the term ‘Samaritan’ it’s so hard for him.