The Good Samaritan

Scripture: Luke 10:25-37

In this video about the teachings of Jesus, He tells us the parable of the Good Samaritan. To set the stage, a lawyer approached Jesus and was trying to catch Him in His words. He said, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Then, Jesus turned the question back on the lawyer and asked, “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” The lawyer answered and 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” (Luke 10:27). Jesus then told him to follow those teachings and he would live. Then the lawyer was a little embarrassed that he was put in his place so aptly, so, trying as an attempt to save face, he asked, “Who is my neighbor?” To that, Jesus responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Before we retell the parable, it is important to note that the Jews thought of themselves as better than the Samaritans. They would not have any dealings with the Samaritans and did everything they could so they wouldn’t have to interact with the Samaritans. So, the parable goes like this. There was a Jew who went from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way, he was ambushed by thieves. His clothes were stolen and he was left half dead. Then a Jewish priest passed by and didn’t stop to help. Later, a Levite (also of the House of Israel) passed by but on the other side of the street and didn’t help him either. Finally, a Samaritan passed by (remember the Jews hated the Samaritans) and had compassion on the Jew. He then took care of his wounds and took him to an inn. The next day, he gave the innkeeper money and made arrangements to make sure he was taken care of until he was healed.

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Jesus then asked the lawyer, “which of the three was his neighbor?” The lawyer said, “He that shewed mercy on him”. Jesus then told him to go and do likewise. So, how does this apply to us in the 21st century? Have you ever seen a broken down car on the freeway with a single mom and young children? Have you ever seen a neighbor struggling through a difficult circumstance and brought him or her a loaf of bread or lent a listening ear? Did you stop to help? Here’s an interesting Good Samaritan study conducted at Princeton University about students on the way to class with a person needing help along the path. The article analyzed who helped and who didn’t. Let us take time to be a Good Samaritan and bless the lives of others and be able to find ourselves.

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By Dave Clark