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The "Good Samaritan" helped,


When a certain man fell among thieves.
While others just passed on by,
He stopped to tend to his needs.
Our world, like the "Good Samaritan's,
Is filled with those in need.
The Fatherless, The Hungry, and so on,
Who wait for a "Good Samaritan" indeed.
Jesus said that we should do likewise,
As the "Good Samaritan" in his day.
To stretch forth a helping hand,
To all who have fallen along life's way.

(John Marinelli)
     
   “The  Parable  of  the  Good  Samaritan”  is  one  of  the  most  familiar 
parables  of  Jesus  Christ.  Though,  the  word  “good”  is  not  written  with 
the  word  “Samaritan”  in  the  text,  but  he  is  called  ‘Good  Samaritan” 
because of his compassionate attitude.   
 
   This  parable  has  not  only  inspired  painting,  sculpture,  poetry,  and 
film, but above all this parable has always been a motivating force for 
Christians to help the needy.  And today many hospitals and charitable 
organizations are named after the Good Samaritan. 

As we read or listen to this parable, we come to know that while a


dialogue was going on between Jesus and a teacher of the law, Jesus
narrated the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Now, in this whole passage, we also read about few questions.

• Jesus asked three questions to the teacher of the law.


• Teacher of the law asked two questions to Jesus.
First question which was asked to Jesus by the teacher of the law was:
“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Now, he asked this question in order to trap Jesus. Question itself


was a good question, but the intention behind was wrong.
 
   Jesus  did  not  respond  with  the  same  confrontational  attitude.  Jesus 
referred the questioner to the Word of God by asking:  
 

"What is written in the Law?" … "How do you read it?"   
 means 
“What do the Scriptures say? How do you interpret them?” 
 

   Teacher of the law was familiar with the Word of God, so he quoted 
from Deut. & Lev.  
Deuteronomy 6:4 
    , ‫ְשׁמַ ע יִ ְשׂ ָראֵ ל יְ הוָה אֱֹלהֵ ינוּ יְ הוָה אֶ חָ ד‬
, ‫מא ֶֹדָך‬-‫ל‬
ְ ָ‫וּבכ‬
ְ ‫ נ ְַפ ְשָׁך‬-‫וּבכָ ל‬
ְ ‫ ְלבָ ְבָך‬-‫וְ אָ הַ ְבתָּ אֵ ת יְ הוָה אֱֹלהֶ יָך ְבּכָ ל‬
(& with all your strength)     (& with all your soul)        (with all your heart)        (The Lord your God)    (And you shall love)  
 
Leviticus 19:18 “love your neighbor as yourself”. 
 
   As that teacher of the law gave this answer, Jesus said to him: 
 
"You have answered correctly,"   "Do this and you will live." 
 
 
   But then, in order to justify himself he asked Jesus another question. 
His second question was: 
“Who is my neighbor?”
Now, this question was not a good question. It was an improper
question, because teacher of the law was trying to exclude responsibility
for others by making some people “non-neighbors”. So a more
appropriate question would be,
“How can I be a loving neighbor?”
 
 
 
 
I. THE ATTITUDE OF THE THIEVES  

Luke 10: 30 reveals something about those thieves. 
  Jesus said: 
 A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into 
the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and 
went away, leaving him half dead. 

• They did not regard human life. To them others were simply objects of
exploitation and gain. They did not only take his belongings but injured that
man & left him half dead.

• Today, we say that we are not like that robbers. But we have to understand
that we can be guilty of injuring others in many different ways:

When a person schemes or sows seeds of discord; or maligns


someone or takes advantage of someone’s naivety, that person is
guilty of injuring others.
Those thieves were guilty of covetousness!
 Covetous persons do not labor to achieve success. Rather, they prey upon 
the weaknesses of others and seize what doesn’t belong to them. 
 

 A  covetous  attitude  says:  “This  is  a  greed‐filled  world,  so  I  have  to  seize 
what I can before someone else seizes what I have.” 
 

 A covetous attitude says: “Let others work then I’ll step in and take over.” 
Listen to what God says about a cunning, covetousness spirit in Proverbs 21:6:
“A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.”
We must guard against covetousness, lest we fall in this category.  
 
II. THE ATTITUDE OF THE PRIEST AND LEVITE  
In the parable we read that this event took place while a man was going
from Jerusalem to Jericho.

• Jerusalem is 2100 feet above sea level & today Jericho road that
connects Jerusalem & Jericho is 17 miles long. In these 17 miles, this
road drops about 3000 feet because Jericho is situated more than 800
feet below sea level.
• At the time of Jesus, people of Judea & Galilee used to travel on this

road because they used to avoid traveling through Samaria due to their
hatred towards the Samaritans. They used to travel on Jericho road
which was a very dangerous & difficult route & was known as "Way of
Blood/ bloody pass". Even in the 19th century people had to pay
passage money to local sheiks.

In Luke 10:31-32 it is written:

“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.”
Both priest & Levite, they were able to help that man but they did not help
him. Now, reason is not given that why they did not help that needy person.
Probably they had their own excuses.
1. Perhaps  both  of  them  they  thought  that  the  robbers  are  still 
around. 
2. Or  it  is  possible  that  they  considered  that  man  as  one  of  the 
robbers who was doing acting in order to seize them. 
3. Perhaps they thought about Num. 19: 11 "Whoever touches the dead
body of anyone will be unclean for seven days.”
   But that man was not dead. We read in Luke 10:30 “They (Robbers) stripped 
him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.”  
Both Priest & Levite did not even bother to see whether the man was dead
or not. They had excuses. Perhaps  both  of  them,  they  asked  to 
themselves the same question: 
"If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"
   Dear readers, the world we live in, the Jericho Road is always with us. 
The  Jericho  Road  is  any  place  where  there  is  violence;  it  is  any  place 
where  there  is  oppression;  where  people  are  robbed  of  their  dignity  / 
their love / their food & their freedom. 
 
   The Jericho road is any place where there are natural disasters in the 
form of floods/earthquakes/landslides.  
 
   We are called to help the people in need, not to neglect them.  
 
 
III. THE ATTITUDE OF THE SAMARITAN  

Jews regarded Samaritans as their enemy. Samaritans had their own Temple
on Mt. Gerizim before Christian Era & they had many disputes with the Jews.
Probably, the man who was beaten by the robbers was a Jew. But he was half
dead/ unable to speak.
 

  When that Samaritan saw him, he helped him in every way. 
 

1. He took pity on him (Showed compassion). 
2. He bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. 
3. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and 
took care of him. 
4. The  next  day  he  took  out  two  silver  coins  and  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.' 
Samaritan showed pity, compassionate love & courage. He put his
own life in danger & gave full care to that needy person.
When Jesus finished narrating parable, he asked teacher of the Law:
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into 
the hands of robbers?"  
means 
Which of these three do you think proved to a neighbor/good neighbor to 
the man who fell into the hands of robbers? 
 
    The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."(Notice: 
he did not say Samaritan)  
 Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." 
Today we are called to show the same attitude of compassionate
love.
Question for thinking/mediating is not that “Who is
my neighbor?”

Rather we must ask ourselves this question “How I


can be a good neighbor to someone else who is in
need?”

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