Upon the return of the 72 He sent, Jesus blesses His disciples for the spiritual care they received and delivered. Meanwhile, a Law-man shows up with a devilish desire to test Jesus and prove him a fraud, certainly no Son of God. Jesus sets out to teach him of mercy and love, telling about a man who fell among robbers–and the One who has come to be known as “The Good Samaritan.”
The Lord Jesus bids us behold with compassion those neighbors like ourselves, people abandoned, beaten, bleeding and left lying helpless with deadly injuries. Meet neighbors like us, robbed of any comfort or hope self-help. Often unconscious of sin, wounded in body and soul, the Helper arrives with His mercy. He must come and do everything to deliver us with our neighbor, bearing all the burden and cost Himself. He takes our wounds to His cross, to His grave. He clothes us in His righteousness by grace, through faith. Jesus alone has loved God with all his heart, and the whole world full of neighbors as himself.
Christ provides for our neighbor’s care personally today and bids His Church “Take care of him.” His spiritual care is wine poured out on the lips, exposing and cleansing wounds to bind and heal them. He gives His medicine by means of Word and Sacraments, His life-giving treatment for every mortal injury, the deadly infection of all our sin. Blessed are your eyes, who yet see the care He commands first hand, ears who still hear His voice saying “Whatever it costs, I will pay.” Truly, “the kingdom of God is near you,” nearer than many self-serving passers-by ever care to believe.