Jesus’s last question, â€œWhich of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?â€ turns the lawyerâ€™s question, â€œWho is my neighborâ€ upside down.
The new spiritual life that results from looking to Jesus lifted high on the cross by faith corresponds to the new physical life given to mortally snakebitten Israelites in the desert who by faith fixed their eyes on the bronze serpent.
When the focus of The Beatitudes becomes “you” instead of Christ and his kingdom, it merely becomes a moral lesson no different from all other religions that teach salvation by good works–helping the poor and those who grieve and are oppressed, being humble and honest, and promoting peace among people.
When we are fully obedient to Godâ€™s word in our pilgrimage, and when we invite others to join us, God promised to bring us together to our Promised Land, a place that will be for us a “resting place” (Numbers 10:11-36).
Paul, therefore, is saying that as Israel crossed the sea, they were united into Moses, who had authority over them from God and who led them in their escape from Egypt and in the crossing of the sea. Continuing with his commentary on the Exodus narrative, Paul points out that Israel partook of the one spiritual food and drink which God gave them through their “baptism” into Moses.
“Religion in America is, indeed, 3,000 miles wide and only three inches deep” – Dr D. Michael Lindsay, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Rice University. A survey released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life concludes that America is a nation of believers, but what exactly they believe in is not clear.