You are welcome to use the writings on these pages or pass them on to others who might find a touch from God in the words. Our purpose is always to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you everything, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring these words to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom its been shared. All rights reserved. Peggy Hoppes
Christian Bible Study Pages
Our Lord is so good, He grants us many blessings. We can see Him in the daily course of events, in our homes, our jobs, our lives. I pray that these words help you to grow in your faith and recognize His hand in even the most mundane circumstances.
The picture to the right is of a Celtic Chapel located in Cornwall England. This building is approximately 1700 years old, and contains a holy well known for its healing powers.
(Click for enlarged)
“Jesus answered, ‘A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance a certain priest was going down that way. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled, came where he was. When he saw him, he was moved with compassion, came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. He set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the host, and said to him, “Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.”’” Luke 10:30-35, WEB
There is a photo circulating of four young men pushing an elderly woman in a scooter to her home. She lives in a nursing home went shopping nearby and her scooter broke down. To make matters worse, the store was downhill from her home and it was raining. These four young men took time out of their day and gave of their resources to help the woman in need.
The parable in today’s passage is set in a conversation between a lawyer and Jesus. The lawyer wanted to know what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Luke specifically tells us that the lawyer was trying to test Jesus. We don’t really know if he was sincere about wanting to get into heaven. It is possible that he was a Sadducee and didn’t even believe in eternal life. It is interesting that this parable is the first time in Luke that the idea of eternal life is even raised. It also comes later in the rest of the Gospels. Had the lawyer heard Jesus talk about it, or was he just trying to make Jesus take sides?
We do know that he was versed in the scriptures. Jesus turned the question back to him. “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” Jesus not only asked for a quote; He asked for interpretation. The lawyer combined Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 to answer with the most basic reading of the Law of God. “Love God and love your neighbor.” Jesus agrees that this is a right answer and commends the lawyer to that life. The lawyer, of course, wants to justify himself and asked, “Who is my neighbor?” The parable is Jesus’ answer.
The lawyer wanted a debate about who they should love. It is easy to love our family and those who are like us. The Jews believed that they were meant to be separated from others, that they would be made unclean by non-believers. Even worse, however, is that they despised the Samaritans because they were half-breeds. They had Jewish ancestry but followed a different (though the same) religion because they worshipped at a different Temple. The Samaritans were hated and did not deserve any mercy or help. This is what made the story so shocking to that lawyer. Jesus wasn’t willing to have the debate about who is a neighbor; He simply pointed out that anyone in need deserves our time and resources.
The most beautiful part of the story of the boys and the elderly woman is that it is a story without borders: male and female, young and old, black and white. Those five must have seemed an odd vision to anyone watching. It was a hard task. Those scooters are heavy and the woman’s had flat tires. The scooter kept shorting out and the motor kept trying to stop the wheels, so they repeatedly had to stop to put it back into neutral. It was pouring. They had no idea they were being filmed, but they did the hard work out of concern for the woman.
One of the boys was interviewed and he said that they didn’t see themselves as Good Samaritans or heroes. They were just neighbors helping another neighbor. They knew they did a good thing, but they were just being part of the community, being helpful in a simple way. That’s what it means to be a good Samaritan, though, isn’t it? The Samaritan in Jesus’ story went above and beyond by giving his time and resources for the care of a stranger, but so did those boys. They’d already had a tough day at a very physical job, but they gave the woman everything they had physically. We may not think we are doing anything particularly heroic, but your willingness to give your time and resources mean the world to the person in need.
We usually read this story in context and focus on the attitudes of those who did nothing or who were trying to justify themselves, but I wanted to focus on the Good Samaritan and his willingness to give everything for the sake of another, without concern for any borders. It is a story of one person helping another person in need. This should be our story every day. In the end the lawyer realized he had no argument; he learned the lesson that the one who has mercy is the true neighbor. Jesus then told him and us, “Go and do likewise.” You may not think you are a Good Samaritan or hero, but your willingness to give your time and resources could mean the world to the person you help no matter how small the task.
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“If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory. Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. For these things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. You also once walked in those, when you lived in them; but now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth. Don’t lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator, where there can’t be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, or free person; but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:1-11, WEB
Fairy tales often have their roots in the stories we find in scripture. Biblical concepts have a timeless authority that touches the people who read them, particularly when they are written in a language they understand. Many of the parables that Jesus told were addressed to a people who understood farming. They identified with the story in a way that made the spiritual concept real to them. However, those same stories get lost on the streets of a large city because the people do not understand farming.
Over the generations, writers have taken the Biblical concepts and rewrote them for the people of their age. “Jack and the Beanstalk” speaks about how the weak can overcome the mighty with the right gift. “Little Red Riding Hood” shows us how evil tries to dress itself up to deceive us, but that we can see the truth through the disguise. Today, those stories would revolve around computers or other aspects of modern life.
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is a story of transformation. In the beginning of the story, the dwarfs live a life separated from anything else. They are greedy and self-centered; they do not understand about love or service. Their home is messy and they are hungry because they do not care for each other. They own a diamond mind and apparently have great wealth, but they are poor in spirit. Snow White comes into their lives and they are transformed. She teaches them to love and to care for each other. Then, when she is attacked by the evil queen and suffers, they love her so much that they suffer with her and they fight for her.
The Israelites were the chosen people of God, but they lived like the dwarfs, self-centered and without love. Jesus Christ came and people were transformed. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus changes us into new people and we are to live in a new way.
When Snow White fell asleep by the wicked power of the queen, the dwarfs could have gone back to living as they did before they knew her. Instead, they continued caring for each other and Snow White. They put aside their greed and messy living for that new life. Does your walk with Christ show the same transformation? Have you put aside the practices of the evil nature, or do you still walk in the ways of greed, idolatry, anger and lies? Paul goes on in this chapter to tell us how our life should look – filled with love, forgiveness, peace and thankfulness – bound together in unity as Christ’s body, His Church. “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him. (Vs. 17)
The following links provide some specially chosen scripture that tell the stories of the Birth and Passion of our Lord as Saviour Jesus Christ, as well as a fictional perspective of the Crucifixion. Spend time in God's Word, read about His life and learn of the wonderful gifts He has for you. Know Jesus Christ and honour Him today. Thanks be to God.
When researching, I use several versions of the bible, including the New International Version and English Standard Version. Due to copyright restrictions, I have not included quotes for the scriptures on some of the archives, but highly encourage you to open your own bibles to read the scripture passages for yourselves. Where scripture is quoted, it is usually the American Standard Version or World English Bible which belong to the public domain. Any other versions used in quotes are identified.
The devotion posted on Wednesday is based on the Lectionary texts used by millions of Christians each Sunday. The Lectionary consists of four texts: an Old Testament passage, a Psalm, a passage from one of the Epistles and a Gospel text and follows the church calendar. Archives for these writings are found at Midweek Oasis.
You are welcome to use these words to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Please remember to give credit to the Author who has given you these gifts, and keep in remembrance the vessel which He used to bring them to you. We pray that this site may be a blessing to you and anyone with whom you've shared it. Peggy Hoppes