Sunday, September 27, 2009
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Monday, September 21, 2009
Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity. September 20th September 2009.
Church of St. Athanasius, Glen Allen, VA.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Ps. 19.
Today’s scripture texts from Paul’s letter to the Galatians and Matthew’s gospel are the texts that I would like to focus on in this sermon - because both of them have a similar message, which is summarized very nicely by St. Paul in verse 14 – 15 of chapter 6 of Galatians. I quote:
“May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything: but a new creation is everything.!”
“As for those who will follow this rule – peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.”
So that is the rule that Paul wishes us to adopt to be our guiding beacon:
Boast of nothing except the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to us, and us to the world.
St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians:
Let us put this into a context. Paul is writing this letter to the church of the Galatians because there are problems afoot within the church. Some of the early Jewish converts to Christianity believed that the ceremonial practices of the Old Testament were still binding on the New Testament church. As a consequence of this they wanted the gentile converts to the church to be subject to circumcision. Paul hints in verse 12 that the reason they were taking this position was to avoid being persecuted by the Jewish zealots who objected to their associating with gentiles in the first place. So their reason was selfish and it was, as Paul puts it,
“..that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.” V. 12
In other words, they were more afraid of the fanatical zealots among the orthodox Jewish community than they were interested in promoting the church of Christ.
Hence you see the reason for Paul insisting in verse 16 on the one and only rule: boast of nothing except the cross of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To harp on and on about your obedience to the law, by being circumcised etc., is to miss the point.
Now the opening verse of this selection which we have read today is open to various interpretations.
“See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand” v. 11.
You probably know already that St. Paul usually dictated his letters to a scribe who wrote his epistles for him. In this case he seems to have taken over from the scribe and either:
a) wrote large letters because of failing eyesight – and there could be evidence for this in chapter 4, v. 13-15: if you read those three verses you have the following text which could indicate that Paul suffered from poor eyesight:
“You know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me” (Galatians, Ch. 4, vv 13 -15)
That could be one interpretation of the opening words of this selection; Paul suffered from failing eyesight. However, it is possible to adapt another interpretation:
b) Paul took over from the scribe who had written the letter up to this point, and wrote the remainder in large letters to emphasize the importance of his message – namely “BOAST OF NOTHING EXCEPT THE CROSS OF CHRIST”. Just the way we do today when we want to emphasize something we have written: we hit the caps button, the underline button, the bold button, and the italic button on our computers.
There is support for this latter interpretation of the text. This was an important message for Paul. We can see a similar rendition of the message when Paul preached to the Corinthians, for we see in chapter 2, verse 2 of the first letter to the Corinthians:
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
In other words, Paul resolved to make Christ the sole subject of his teaching and preaching while he was in the city of Corinth. Now we have the same message to the Galatians - “Boast of nothing except the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to us and us to the world”.
The Gospel of Matthew:
I would like to go now to the gospel text that we read this morning and point out the connection between the two scripture readings. Paul’s letter had a simple message: concentrate on Christ crucified. Focus on God and forget about all the things that could distract you, such as the demands of the old law with its requirement on circumcision.
See how similar that message is to the message of Jesus in today’s gospel reading:
“No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” V. 24.
Jesus is pointing out to his followers a message that was later taken over by Paul. You must serve God with your whole mind, body and soul and not let yourself be distracted by other concerns such as wealth, or the law, or the opinion of others and so on.
Jesus goes on to describe the attitude of the ideal disciple, in what is perhaps one of the best known and most quoted paragraphs of the New Testament:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? Therefore, do not worry, saying “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For it is the gentiles who strive for all these things: and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
The message is simplicity itself. Do not worry about the future, because you cannot change one iota of the future. Trust in the loving mercy of God. The coming day, even the coming hour, are placed beyond our control. It is senseless to pretend that we can make provisions for the future. The future rests in the merciful hands of God our Creator.
Sinful man imagines that there is a correlation between work and sustenance as of cause and effect. But Jesus explodes that myth; according to Him bread is not be valued as the reward for work; he speaks instead of the carefree simplicity of the man who walks with him and accepts everything as it comes from God.
There is an interesting commentary of Martin Luther on this passage of scripture which I shall read to you:
“Now mark ye, no beast worketh for his sustenance, but each has his proper function, according to which he seeketh and findeth his own food. The bird doth fly and sing, she maketh nests and beareth young. That is her work, but yet she doth not nourish herself thereby. Oxen plough, horses draw carts and fight, sheep give wool, milk, and cheese, for it is their function so to do. But they do not nurture themselves thereby. Nay, the earth bringeth forth grass, and nurtureth them through God’s blessing. Likewise it is man’s bounden duty to work and do things, and yet withal to know that it is Another who nurtureth him; it is not his own work, but the bounteous blessing of God. It is true that the bird doth neither sow nor reap, yet would she die of hunger if she flew not in search of food. But that she findeth the same is not her work, but the goodness of God. For who put the food there, that she might find it? For where God hath put nought, none findeth, even though the whole world were to work itself to death in search thereof.”
This is an interesting example of total dependence on God’s merciful bounty. It is an acknowledgement of God as the Creator of the universe and the Provider of all that we have.
There is a danger that modern man thinks he put the grain in the fields, the fruit on the trees, the fish in the sea. It is by modern man’s husbandry, as it were, that we have all these things available to sustain us. God does not have any part in the process. There is food on the table because we men have provided it! God had nothing to do with it. In all those hours under the hot sun when I was working in the field I did not see any God helping me!
This godless universe was brought home to me quite recently when I read a book, which I am sure some of you are familiar with, it was called: “The 100 people who are screwing up America”. One of these people was a woman named Ingrid Newkirk, a cofounder of PETA, who made the astonishing claim in September 1989 issue of Vogue, that “There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They’re all mammals”. Somehow or other they are all equal! I thought this was so extreme as to be farcical until quite recently one of my students in a business ethics course wrote an essay on businesses using animals for medical research. I was astounded that she felt exactly like Newkirk: all life is equal, we are no different than pigs, or rats, or birds etc. We have no more rights than they have. And this was a mother with young children; she felt her children were no better than a clutch of chickens! I had not realized that this bizarre philosophy of the godless was permeating the society as much as it has obviously done so.
Contrast this with the words of Jesus, which show such respect for nature and God’s creatures:
“See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
And the words of Jesus condemn the godless philosophy of PETA and the bizarre arguments of the likes of Ingrid Newkirk:
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Are you not much more valuable than they? Jesus affirmed the value of human life, we are creatures made in the image of God, we are children of God, and we should live our lives accordingly. We are not mere animals on the same level as the rats, the sheep and the goats and so on.
This is what is so abhorrent about scientists being permitted to play around with human cells and clone hybrids using cells from animals and humans. It is this same godless philosophy at work that we spoke of earlier – there isn’t any real difference between us and the animals so let’s see what we can create! This is the pagan philosophy of Richard Dawkins and the Darwinists and fellow-travellers like PETA. It is totally contrary to Christian teaching.
The common thread running through today’s liturgy is the need to walk with God: to focus on God as the creator of all things, and to acknowledge that we have been saved by the Cross of Jesus Christ. We must remember that we are admonished by Christ to:
“…strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
‘All these things’, in other words food, clothing, shelter. God our Creator is a loving Father and knows that we need these things and they will be provided. Stop worrying about these things and preach Christ crucified, by your mouth, by the example of your lives, and by everything you do.
Paul’s message is equally simple: Boast of nothing save the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Don’t be distracted by the unimportant. Walk with Christ and preach Him crucified.
That basically is the message of the Great Commission:
“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Luke, Ch. 14, v15).
That is your God-given directive, take it personally to heart, and go preach Christ crucified.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
St Athanasius is 6 years on in our ministry. We have come a long way from worshiping in our homes to meeting in various locations and finally purchasing a property in Glen Allen, VA.
We welcome our many new members and visitors and thank all those whop helped along the way.
We would especially like to thank Carefil, Inc. Concrete Construction Services for donating labor and material for a new sidewalk. Needless to say this is a big help for us and our several members who have some difficulty getting in and out of the entrances as we continue to improve the house, property and look towards putting up a new Sanctuary building in the near future.
We will be at the Glen Allen Day festivities this October 3rd www.glenallenruritan.org/ and hope to meet more of our neighbors- be sure to attend this great event and stop in and see us at our information booth.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer”. (Ps 19)
Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity. September 6th 2009. Church of St. Athanasius, Glen Allen, VA.
The parable in today’s gospel is probably one of the most famous parables of all of the New Testament. It is a parable that is well known to many people with scant knowledge of Christianity or the New Testament scripture texts. The vividness of the imagery of this story makes it memorable.
But what is a parable? If you were to look up the meanings of the Greek word “παραβολε” you would find that one of its many meanings is “analogy”. This idea of analogy caught a very strong hold in the mind of the early church. Origen, a Father of the Church living from 185 –254 AD, wrote an interesting sermon on the parable of the Good Samaritan in which everything was allegorical. St Augustine, who lived between 354AD and 430AD, went even further and his sermon on the allegorical meaning of the parable of the Good Samaritan makes interesting reading. I will quote a section of it here:
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho; Adam himself is meant; Jerusalem is the heavenly city of peace from whose blessedness Adam fell; Jericho means the moon, and signifies our mortality, because it is born, waxes, wanes, and dies. Thieves are the devil and his angels. Who stripped him, namely, of his immortality; and beat him, by persuading him to sin; and left him half-dead, because in so far as man can understand and know God, he lives, but in so far as he is wasted and oppressed by sin, he is dead; he is therefore called half-dead.”
I could go on: everything takes on a symbolic meaning: the animal (probably a donkey), the inn, the innkeeper, even the denarii – they all have symbolic significance! You can see what I mean when I talk of an allegorical approach to the parables of the New Testament.
When the Jews translated their scriptures from Hebrew and Aramaic into Greek to produce the Septuagint, they translated the Hebrew word “mashal” and the Aramaic word “mathla” into the Greek word “παραβολε”. It was the emphasis that was given to the notion of allegory in the meaning of the Greek work “parable” that lead to the various allegorical interpretations of the parables of which Augustine’s example is one. But the meaning of the Hebrew and Aramaic words were not so limited and they could take on a whole variety of meanings not just allegory. Whilst at times the allegorical approach may not be incorrect in interpreting the text of the scriptures, I feel that such an approach is unnecessary in the case of today’s parable. This is one of the most straightforward of parables. I would like to take a straightforward approach in examining today’s parable.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan:
You have the Gospel text in front of you on your sheets, don’t be afraid to follow it. You will notice that the Gospel is basically in two parts: the first part is from verse 25 to verse 28, and the second part is from verse 29 to verse 37.
First part of the Gospel:
In the first part we have Jesus in a room or hall, probably a synagogue, surrounded by a crowd of people seated around Him. I say this because you will notice that the text tells us: “Just then a lawyer stood up”; notice that he stood up, so presumably he, and all the rest had been sitting, with probably only Jesus standing addressing the crowd. Notice also that the man is described as “a lawyer”. The word used in the New Testament is “νομικος” which is the name for a “doctor of the Jewish law”. So this man is a lawyer.
Imagine the scene: Jesus is standing addressing the crowd; a man stands up and challenges him – we know he is simply challenging Jesus because the text tells us “a lawyer stood up to test him”. This man is not looking for truth or seeking genuine guidance from the Lord, he is simply initiating a legal debate. Such legal debates were common among the rabbis then, just as they still are today. This learned lawyer is challenging Jesus to see how he will answer the question. The lawyer already knows the answer to his question and Jesus knows this. This is not unusual. I qualified as a barrister at the Inns of Court in London years ago. One of the rules of advocacy was that one never asked a question unless one already knew the answer. This was a fundamental rule; any advocate who broke this rule risked disaster and I have often seen advocates come to grief by ignoring this rule. What is fascinating is to see that it was operative two thousand years ago! Lawyers did not ask questions to which they did not know the answer!
The lawyer asks Jesus:
“Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus simply replies:
“What is written in the law? How readest thou”
And the lawyer answers:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself”.
“Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live”.
Notice, that Jesus has adroitly turned the legal challenge back on his challenger: “What is written in the law?” v.26, He asks. So the lawyer is required to answer his own question, of which he knew the answer anyway!
Before I go on I would commend to your attention that wonderful answer of the lawyer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” This is a composite text taken from Deuteronomy Ch.6, v5 and Leviticus, Ch. 19, verse 18. These twenty-six words encapsulate the whole of the Gospel teaching. If only we could all live our lives by these simple directions the world would be a better place.
As an exercise during this coming week I would ask you to contrast this passage with the passage from Exodus, Chapter 20, verses 12-17. That is the passage in which Moses delivers the ten commandments to the Jewish people. If you take each of those separate commandments see whether or not it is contained within the meaning of those words taken from Luke 10, v.27. See whether or not those twenty-six words encapsulate all of the teachings of the ten commandments.
Second Part of the Gospel:
To return to our Gospel: the lawyer is slightly discomfited by having been bested in legal argument by Jesus, for the text tells us: “But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus..” v.29. Wanting to justify himself! This man was very much in an argumentative mode; he wanted to continue this legal debate. So once again he asks a question to which he knows the answer – or at least he thinks he does.
“And who is my neighbour?”
Now this term neighbour was very much in dispute among the lawyers. It was generally agreed that it connoted fellow-countrymen, including full converts to the Jewish religion, but there was disagreement about the exceptions:
· the Pharisees were inclined to exclude all non-Pharisees;
· the Essenes, a Jewish sect active at this time, required that a man should hate ‘all the sons of darkness’ that is, people who were not members of the sect of the Essenes;
· a rabbinical saying ruled that heretics, informers, and renegades should be ‘pushed down into the ditch and not pulled out’ so we know whom they considered as neighbours;
· and there was a widespread popular saying that excluded personal enemies from the category of neighbour. As an example of this last, you will remember the story of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5, v 43: Jesus is saying: “You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy”.
So our friend the lawyer is not asking Jesus for a definition of the word neighbour, but for an indication of where within the community Jesus would suggest that the limits to the duty of loving were to be drawn. The lawyer is simply continuing his legal disputation.
In response, Jesus tells his story of the Good Samaritan. I don’t think we need to read anything into the story, as St. Augustine did. I would make just two points:
Firstly, this man would certainly not have been included within the lawyer’s definition of neighbour. The relations between the Jews and the Samaritans, which had undergone considerable fluctuations, had become much worse in Jesus’ time. Some time, between 6AD and 9AD, at midnight during a Passover, the Samaritans had defiled the temple court in Jerusalem by strewing around the bones of corpses. As a result there was irreconcilable hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans.
Secondly, consider the remarkable generosity of the Samaritan in the story. He leaves two denarii with the innkeeper to ensure that the injured man is cared for, and he promises to come back and pay more if necessary. Now historians tell us that one twelfth of a denarius would be about the cost of a day’s board, so the Samaritan is leaving enough to cover about twenty four days of hospital care for this injured man!
Having told the story, Jesus again gets the lawyer to answer his own question, for at the end he says: “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” v.36. Again the lawyer is forced to answer his own question and in a sense lose the legal debate.
But wait a moment. Go back to verse 29 – you have got it in front of you: the lawyer’s question was: “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus has won this legal debate by forcing the lawyer to provide an answer, not to his own question, but to a different question: “Which of these three was a neighbour?” The lawyer doesn’t seem to realise that this was not his original question! He is being forced to redefine his own idea of what constitutes a neighbour. The lawyer was concerned with the idea of a neighbour as an object and his question implied a limitation; my neighbour is one who belongs to such and such a group. Jesus was interested in the neighbour as the subject : which of the three men had acted as neighbour? A man cannot determine theoretically who his neighbour is because love is not theory but practice. A man’s neighbour is any man who needs his help, says the parable; the wounded man was neighbour to the priest and the Levite just as much as he was to the Samaritan, but while they theorised in the manner of the lawyer, the Samaritan acted.
Though the final recommendation of Christ was addressed to the lawyer it contains a message and a warning, for all Christians. We must not pause to ask ourselves: “Is this man really my neighbour?” for a question like this has no place in the Christian life. Christian charity knows no bounds and oversteps all man-made limits. The pity for our society is that there are so few Samaritans among us today.
 Quaestiones Evangeliorum, II, 19
Saturday, September 5, 2009
13th Sunday in Trinity
ALMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAISE the LORD, O my soul: * O LORD my God, thou art become exceeding glorious; thou art clothed with majesty and honour.
Thou deckest thyself with light as it were with a garment, * and spreadest out the heavens like a curtain.
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters, * and maketh the clouds his chariot, and walketh upon the wings of the wind.
He maketh his angels winds, * and his ministers a flaming fire.
He laid the foundations of the earth, * that it never should move at any time.
Thou coveredst it with the deep like as with a garment; * the waters stand above the hills.
At thy rebuke they flee; * at the voice of thy thunder they haste away.
They go up as high as the hills, and down to the valleys beneath; * even unto the place which thou hast appointed for them.
Thou hast set them their bounds, which they shall not pass, * neither turn again to cover the earth.
He sendeth the springs into the rivers, * which run among the hills.
All beasts of the field drink thereof, * and the wild asses quench their thirst.
Beside them shall the fowls of the air have their habitation, * and sing among the branches.
He watereth the hills from above; * the earth is filled with the fruit of thy works.
He bringeth forth grass for the cattle, * and green herb for the service of men;
That he may bring food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man; * and oil to make him a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen man's heart.
The trees of the LORD also are full of sap; * even the cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted;
Wherein the birds make their nests; * and the firtrees are a dwelling for the stork.
The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; * and so are the stony rocks for the conies.
He appointed the moon for certain seasons, * and the sun knoweth his going down.
Thou makest darkness that it may be night; * wherein all the beasts of the forest do move.
The lions, roaring after their prey, * do seek their meat from God.
The sun ariseth, and they get them away together, * and lay them down in their dens.
Man goeth forth to his work, and to his labour, * until the evening.
O LORD, how manifold are thy works! * in wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy riches.
So is the great and wide sea also; * wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
There go the ships, and there is that leviathan, * whom thou hast made to take his pastime therein.
These wait all upon thee, * that thou mayest give them meat in due season.
When thou givest it them, they gather it; * and when thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good.
When thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: * when thou takest away their breath, they die, and are turned again to their dust.
When thou lettest thy breath go forth, they shall be made; * and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
The glorious majesty of the LORD shall endure for ever; * the LORD shall rejoice in his works.
The earth shall tremble at the look of him; * if he do but touch the hills, they shall smoke.
I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live; * I will praise my God while I have my being.
And so shall my words please him: * my joy shall be in the LORD.
As for sinners, they shall be consumed out of the earth, * and the ungodly shall come to an end.
Praise thou the LORD, O my soul. * Praise the LORD.
The Lord created man of the earth, and turned him into it again. He gave them few days, and a short time, and power also over the things therein. He endued them with strength by themselves, and made them according to his image, And put the fear of man upon all flesh, and gave him dominion over beasts and fowls. [They received the use of the five operations of the Lord, and in the sixth place he imparted them understanding, and in the seventh speech, an interpreter of the cogitations thereof.] Counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, ears, and a heart, gave he them to understand. Withal he filled them with the knowledge of understanding, and shewed them good and evil. He set his eye upon their hearts, that he might shew them the greatness of his works. He gave them to glory in his marvellous acts for ever, that they might declare his works with understanding. And the elect shall praise his holy name. Beside this he gave them knowledge, and the law of life for an heritage. He made an everlasting covenant with them, and shewed them his judgments. Their eyes saw the majesty of his glory, and their ears heard his glorious voice. And he said unto them, Beware of all unrighteousness; and he gave every man commandment concerning his neighbour. Their ways are ever before him, and shall not be hid from his eyes.
Galatians iii. 16.
TO Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
St. Luke x. 23.
BLESSED are the eyes which see the things that ye see: for I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.