Over the last few years I’ve been on a journey to involve my whole being in the rhythm of following Jesus. It is hard work. My imagination is still recovering after years of segregation between the spiritual and the physical.
One of the symptoms of the previous segregation is that for some reason I still battle with the notion that if I know something then I’m doing it. This happens in an instance. Someone says “love your neighbour” and because of its familiarity I mistake the fact of the saying with the actual doing.
This past week I’ve been struggling with the parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10. Klyne Snodgrass notes that the parable has a parallelism built into it.
The lawyer and Jesus have a conversation wherein:
1. Lawyer, Question 1: What must I do to inherit eternal life?
2. Jesus , Question 2: How do you read what is written in the Law?
3. Lawyer, Answer to 2: Love God and neighbour.
4. Jesus, Answer to 1: Do this and you will live.
5. Lawyer, Question 3: Who is my neighbour?
6. Jesus, Question 4: Who proved neighbour in the parable?
7. Lawyer, Answer 4: The one who showed mercy.
8. Jesus, Answer 3: Go and continue doing likewise.
When I looked through this something struck me. Jesus answers each question with an additional question and the lawyer answers his own question and then Jesus invites him to live into the answer he already had. The emphasis of the passage is on doing. It is an adventure of a spirituality of wholeness wherein we imaginatively live into the adventure of doing.
This synthesis between knowing and doing is what I’m after. It also struck me that just as for this lawyer a lot of spiritual growth for me consists in a recovery of what I already know and then living into it. Your thoughts?