Big Idea

Excuses are the refuge of the weak-willed.

Scene Setup

Rescued from certain death at the hands of the Sand People, Luke Skywalker finds himself in the company of Obi-wan Kenobi -- a former Jedi Knight.


Good Samaritan, Follow, Excuses, Cowardice, Help


Obi-Wan, known to Luke as Ben, says that Luke's father used to be a great warrior, but Luke says "no," his "father was a navigator on a spice freighter." Ben says that the navigator story was made up by Luke's uncle, "He didn't hold to your father's ideals. Thought he should have stayed here and not gotten involved." Luke asks, "You fought in the Clone Wars?" Ben says that he was a Jedi Knight, just like Luke's father. Ben praises Luke's father's skill as a pilot, and adds that he was "a cunning warrior. I understand you've become quite a good pilot yourself. And he was a good friend. Which reminds me..." Ben goes to a chest and pulls out an object to hand to Luke. Ben says, "Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it. He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damned-fool idealistic crusade like your father did." Ben says, "Your father's lightsaber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster." Luke turns the weapon on and begins to wave it about. Ben describes it as, "An elegant weapon for a more civilized age." He describes the past as an era when Jedi maintained peace and justice, but that now was "the dark times." Luke wants to know how his father died, and Ben says that he was betrayed by "a Jedi named Darth Vader" -- one of Ben's former students who "turned to evil." He explains how Vader betrayed and slaughtered the Jedi. Ben says Vader "betrayed and killed your father" because he had embraced "the Dark Side of the Force." Luke asks about the force, and Ben describes it as the source of a Jedi's power -- "It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together." Ben works with R2D2 to see if he can get the message to play, and is successful. A hologram of Princess Leia is projected as she calls on Ben to help the Rebellion by delivering the robots to her father on Alderaan. She finishes her plea with, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." Then the message disappears. It is clear that Luke is caught up in the romance of the adventure. But the rubber meets the road when Ben tells him, "You must learn the ways of the Force if you're to come with me to Alderaan." Luke, who has been chafing for adventure, suddenly has second thoughts. He laughs and says, "Alderaan? I'm not going to Alderaan. I've got to go home. It's late, I'm in for it as it is." Ben pleads that he needs help and Princess Leia needs his help because Ben is "getting too old for this sort of thing." Luke immediately defends himself with excuses: "I can't get involved! I've got work to do! It's not that I like the Empire. I hate it! But there's nothing I can do about it right now. It's such a long way from here." Ben recognizes the source of Luke's attitude, "That's your uncle talking." Reminded of his Uncle, Luke starts thinking aloud of the trouble he will be in when he gets home. Ben tells Luke to "Learn about the Force." Luke, wanting to change the subject, says that he can take Ben to a place where he can travel where ever he needs to go. Disappointed, Ben says, "You must do what you feel is right, of course."


Luke can hardly believe that the man Ben is describing is his own father, but Luke is taken by the adventure. When Ben hands Luke his father's lightsaber, Luke ignites it and is enthralled. Ben reveals the supernatural source of the Jedi's power and Luke is drawn in. Finally, when the beautiful princess begs for aid, for a moment it seems as if Luke is imagining himself the heroic rescuer. So Luke is given his lineage, has been equipped with the tools he needs, has been given a mission, and offered training. All is going well until Ben asks Luke for a commitment to learn the ways of the Force and accompany Ben to Alderaan. Suddenly, Luke is timid, apprehensive, afraid of long-distance travel, and in fear of his uncle. He makes excuse after excuse for why he cannot go with Ben to do what is clearly "the right thing" -- to rescue the princess, save the Rebellion, and crush the evil Empire. The scene is reminiscent of the story of the Rich Young Ruler who got the theology right until it came time to sacrifice and follow Jesus, and then suddenly he needed to make excuses. Or the various people who balked at following because they needed a place to stay, needed to bury their father, or to say goodbye to their friends. The priest and the Levite from the story of the Good Samaritan both had the tools to help the man in peril, but chose instead to walk on the other side. Once we know the right course of action, God intends for us to do it. As long as we have the capacity to do so, there is no excuse for not doing what is right.


Where To Find


Luke 10:25-37

Luke 9:57-22

Matthew 8:18-22

Matthew 19:16-22

Video Times

Start: 0:32:37

End: 0:36:53


Sacrifice, Cowardice, Excuses, Follow, Good Samaritan, Help

Illustration Sermon General Warning

Ben uses the word "damnable." Some people have difficulty with the dualistic nature of the Force.

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