Reflections: The 13th Sunday after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Luke 10:21-37

Daily Lectionary: 2 Chronicles 29:1-24; Philippians 3:1-21 

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
(Luke 10:25) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The lawyer thinks he knows it all. He tries to test Jesus to see how smart He is, to see if Jesus is any match for him. Little does he know that he is asking the wrong question to the wrong person. He asks, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25) Jesus tells him what he must do if he wants to inherit eternal life. If he wants to earn his way into heaven, if you want to earn your way into heaven, be like the good Samaritan. You must have compassion on the poor, downtrodden, and needy. You must care for them, give them everything they need, the donkey you’re riding on and the shirt off your back, and pay the full price to restore their life. Nothing short of doing everything will suffice.

Ouch. Jesus brings the full weight and hammer of the Law down on this lawyer. He wants to be put under the Law, so Jesus brings the Law. The Law beats him and convicts him down to its last detail, that even a foreign Samaritan outsider is better than this lawyer. He is stripped of the self-righteousness he is seeking and left in a ditch to die. That’s what the Law does to us, too. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).

Thanks be to God for that Samaritan, that man passing by who has come from a foreign place to pick us up and restore our life. He takes our broken sinfulness, our self-righteousness, and carries them for us. He bears the wounds and carries the scars that our sins make in His body for us. He carries us to the inn of His Church where He nurses us back to health and life by washing our wounds in the waters of Holy Baptism, by feeding and nourishing us not just with bread and wine but with every Word that comes from the mouth of God, even His very Body and Blood. He pays the full price for our lives not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and His innocent suffering and death that we might be His own, and that by His work we might inherit eternal life. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Almighty and everlasting God, give us an increase of faith, hope, and charity; and that we may obtain what You have promised, make us love what You have commanded; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the 13th Sunday after Trinity)

-Rev. Brett Simek is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hilbert, WI. He also serves as catechesis coordinator for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.