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The Fifth Sunday After Pentecost C, July 10, 2022

The Fifth Sunday After Pentecost C, July 10, 2022

Luke 10:25-37 

“He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law?
How do you read it?”
(Lk. 10:26)

That lawyer didn’t know what he was getting into. Here he comes, seemingly full of himself, thinking that Jesus can be “put to the test.” Well… Jesus shows him that, if anybody is going to be put to the test, it isn’t going to be Jesus. Jesus tests that lawyer, “What’s written in the Law?” The very one who has come to be the fulfillment of the Law (Mt. 5:17) questions whether this lawyer actually knows the content of the Law. But Jesus doesn’t stop there, he wants to know if the lawyer has grasped the meaning of the law, “How do you read it?” It is one thing to know the content of law. It is quite another to know that content’s meaning for you. The lawyer recites the content of the law and Jesus acknowledges that he has recited it correctly. But then Jesus gives him the challenge which the lawyer fails, “Do this and you will live.” The lawyer’s failure comes in two ways. First, he doesn’t catch the irony in Jesus’ voice and assumes he (and all sinners) must contribute his doing to Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law. Second, the lawyer seeks to redefine the Law’s accusation by limiting its scope to a particular definition, “Who is my neighbor?” Through the parable, Jesus confronts the lawyer with his failure and brings him to stand under the scripture, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (vs. 37 & Mt. 12:7).

Prayers from one still being taught to stand under your mercy rather than trust the sacrifice of my obedience…

Heavenly Father, you are merciful and abounding in steadfast love. Teach me to stand under your mercy and not look to the obedience of my own doing. Lord, in your mercy; hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, you are merciful and abounding in steadfast love. As I stand under your mercy, teach me to enjoy the steadfastness of your love which prevails despite my failing assumptions. Lord, in your mercy; hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, you are merciful and abounding in steadfast love. Your love bestowed upon me in Jesus Christ carries me by his faithfulness even as I am unfaithful. Lord, in your mercy; hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, you are merciful and abounding in steadfast love. As I stand under your love, so turn me to my neighbors that, as I am useful to their needs, I may love them as you have loved me. Lord, in your mercy; hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, you are merciful and abounding in steadfast love. As I have been turned in love to my neighbors, grant that I may forgive them in Jesus’ name for their failure to love me in return. Lord, in your mercy; hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, you are merciful and abounding in steadfast love. You have established places like the Institute of Lutheran Theology for the teaching of scripture so that others may come to stand under scripture as well. Grant that the Institute’s labors be fruitful. Lord, in your mercy; hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, you are merciful and abounding in steadfast love. Grant that during these days of my baptism, your mercy and your love will keep me patient and hopeful until that day when my Lord Jesus comes in all his glory. Lord, in your mercy; hear my prayer.

I commend all these things to you, Heavenly Father, confident of your mercy and love. Amen

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