The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 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’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 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. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] 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.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” – Matthew 10:25 – 37
It’s a question I’ve been more challenged to think about in recent months.
Our neighbors aren’t just the people who live near us. Jesus himself says multiple times in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and he never had his own home. The reality is my neighbor is every single person that I meet.
During the season of Lent, I want to be emptied of the image of bias and assumption that cause me to judge my neighbors. I want to hear and share the stories of those around me to broaden my perspective and love people like Jesus loves me.
Have you been the priest or the Levite and have a story to tell and a lesson learned?
Maybe you have experienced in some form or another, what the man who was robbed experienced.
Or perhaps you were like the Samaritan, someone hated by many others, but still having the heart to help another. You know that the parable is called the “Good Samaritan”. Ever thought about why a distinction is made?
Do you have a story to share or know someone who has a story to share? Stories are the most powerful tool we have to broaden our view of the world. We can learn so much from one another and the stories that shape our lives.
“And who is my neighbor?” I am looking forward to finding out.