The Good Samaritan. Luke 10:25-37 “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attached by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him “Go and do likewise.”
The teaching of the Parable of the Good Samaritan is simply a lesson on what it means to love one’s neighbor. Jesus is telling us to follow the Samaritan’s example in our own conduct. We are to show compassion and love for those we encounter in our everyday activities. We are to love others and if they need and we have the supply, then we are to give generously and freely.
We can hope that the lawyer saw this and came to the realization that there was nothing he could do to justify himself, that he needed a personal savior to atone for his lack of ability to save himself from his sins. The lessons of the Parable of the Good Samaritan are: (1) we are to set aside our prejudice and show love and compassion for others, (2) our neighbor is anyone we encounter; we are all creatures of the creator and we are to love all of mankind as Jesus has taught, (3) keeping the law in its entirety with the intent to save ourselves is an impossible task; we need a savior, and this is Jesus.
The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But….the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him? Martin Luther King, Jr.