“THE WORD MADE FLESH YOU HEAR & SEE”
Saint Luke 10. 23-37
13th Sunday after Trinity: 25 August Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP
In The + Name of Jesus
And what did the “12” see that day when the Nazarene spoke the words of Luke 10? Jesus was speaking to His chosen ones and not to a crowd.
They saw the Messiah promised to Eve. The Disciples beheld with their earthy eyes the Incarnate God born of the Blessed Virgin. Abraham had seen smoking pots and had lunched with angels dressed as men. Jacob had struggled with a mysterious wrestler. Moses had seen burning bushes and pillars of flame. Joshua had viewed the “Captain of the Host,” and Samuel had communication with the Lord. Elijah heard a “still small voice.” The “apple of God’s eye” the great King David had mostly “seen” God through the voice of Nathan the Prophet and Gad the Seer.
The Patriarchs, Prophets, and Good Kings had all believed the Gospel promise spoken to Eve, and had all waited in faithful trust for the arrival of Messiah to redeem His people from sin and sorrow. They all gave their prayers and lives to guarding the deposit which had been entrusted to them. And everything they did was a gift of God the Holy Spirit. Every virtue of fidelity and perseverance was simply Christ active in them. But they would also have given the heavens themselves to have seen what “12” got to see—the face and countenance of Mary’s Son, in the flesh, the fullness of the Trinity in Bodily Form!
All the Hebrew Saints of the First Covenant did indeed “hear” God’s voice as He spake through the prophets by the Spirit. They heard the preaching of Esaias, Elias, Jeremias and the others. But in these last days God spoke to the “12” by His Son. Andrew and Peter, Matthew and Bartholomew actually heard and knew what Jesus’ voice sounds like! They saw God keep the Commandments and love the Father and all men. They heard God preach the condemning Law written on stone and then also preach the Kingdom of the Son Who came to fulfill the Law and to die for all breakers of the same. They saw and heard Jesus, God enfleshed heal the sick, love the loveless, and forgive sins. They saw God and heard Him speak of His impending suffering and death in Jerusalem. And two of the “12” along with Saints Paul, Luke and John Mark recorded it for you!
Moses was not the end but only the beginning. The Law was not god to be worshipped and kept, but the rod from the mouth of God to condemn and kill. The Lawyer who stood up to tempt Jesus was an expert in the Torah and knew the Hebrew Scriptures at their surface level. He did not know, believe or confess The Fulfiller and End of the Law that he, like the “12,” was looking at eye-ball to eye-ball. He knew that the Tables of Sinai said: Love the Lord and Love the neighbor. Feeling a bit of a “sting” from Christ’s words “…this do, and thou shalt live,” he then asked the famous question: “and who is my neighbor?”
No one can “do” for perfection is not possible for sinful creatures. The Lawyer could not love God with all his heart, soul, strength and mind, and neither could Peter, James, John, or the Apostle Paul; neither can you. The Lawyer could not love his neighbor as himself, no matter who the neighbor was; neither could the “12,” or the parishioners of Augsburg.
Is this a moral teaching of the sanctified life? Should you strive and work and endeavor to be just like the “Good Samaritan?” “Go and do thou likewise.” Should you be the one to “show mercy” as the Lawyer correctly concluded? Sure… you do that.
This parable is not about working or doing or loving better or stronger. Yes you should be more like the Good Samaritan, so repent and confess your sins. The parable is not just all about Jesus; Jesus is the parable in all of its truth.
Jesus is the “certain man,” the God/Man Who “went down” (He descended from heaven) from the Jerusalem on high to the Jericho of the fallen world—the broken earth, crushed under the same uncompromising trumpet blasts of the Decalogue as were the original walls which fell to the First Covenant’s typological Joshua. Jesus allowed Himself to fall “among thieves,” and among bragging fishermen, angry zealots, thieving tax-collectors, doubters, betrayers, cowards, lepers, mutes, foreigners, and sinners…such as you. Jesus permitted the sins of all men, of all of you, to attack Him, to strip Him of His royal raiment, to beat Him, wound Him, and leave Him “half dead” nailed to a tree. Your trespasses of hypocrisy, self-justification, and prideful self-will both condemned Him, and also “depart[ed]” from Him as you ignore God’s Word, Jesus the Word, and walk by like the Levite and the Priest.
Jesus is the Samaritan for He is GOOD and His Mercy endureth forever. Jesus does the finding and the rescuing. He found you dead in the ditch and brought you to His Baptismal + font to save you. His compassion filled the shell and the hand of His Samaritan servant with oil of anointing and soothing re-birth as His Blood and Water, gushing from His side, was poured on your wounds. Jesus carried you on THE BEAST of Burden, on His own back and neck with His own arms. Jesus the beast beaten and slain for you…an ass to the world of unbelief, but the Lamb slain from before eternity to His elect and chosen. Jesus has carried you here to the Inn of Inheritance and life everlasting—the Church of His New Testament.
Jesus has done it all. He has gone and done likewise—loving the Father with all of His heart, soul, strength and mind—loving the neighbor (all men) as Himself. Jesus forgives you. Jesus buys you back and gives you new life and new beginnings. Jesus dines with you at the Inn this very day. You are ensconced and elevated on high to receive Him along with the host; along with the “12.” And you now also see the things that they saw and hear the things that they heard. Jesus IS speaking to His chosen ones and not to a crowd: “Peace to + you. I will come again for you. Take eat. Take drink.”
In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost