In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us an oral exam. Specifically, Jesus asks, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” (Luke 10:26)
This is in response to a man asking Jesus what is necessary to gain entry to heaven. The man responds correctly, by noting that he is to love God with his whole heart, and to love his neighbor as himself. Yet, the man asks for clarification on the definition of “neighbor.” Jesus responds with the parable about the Good Samaritan. In this story Jesus comments on two people who avoid helping an injured man on the side of the road, as they do not want to violate Jewish law, by touching his blood, for that would make them unclean. Finally, the Samaritan offers compassion and assistance to the injured man. Jesus then asks,
Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robber’s victim? (Luke 10: 36)
This is another instance where Jesus reinforces the fact that man was not created to serve the law. Rather, the law was created to serve man. Jesus is asking us to use common sense. We must place the well-being of our fellow men ahead of rules and regulations.
How Do You Read What is Written in the Law?
What kind of laws exist today where we, as mankind, fall short of living the Gospel message? In essence, what laws do we adhere to that do not serve man? For example: “Man” sees the law of a right to abortion as precedence of the land, but who does this law serve? Is it only a law of convenience? Yes. Does the elimination of a human (unborn) life demonstrate love of neighbor? No. So, if the right to an abortion, and the taking of an unborn life is a law that does not demonstrate “love of neighbor” then it becomes a law that Jesus would not want us to follow.
So, if Jesus were sitting across from you, at your kitchen table and asked you, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” what would be your response as it relates to the laws we follow today? Can you honestly respond that you love God with your whole heart, and your neighbor as yourself, if you follow laws that go against God’s Will?
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