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The Parable of the Good Samaritan
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Who is my neightbor What is the limit of my obligation? Jesus answered The limit The scope. The scope is not limited by: Our inconvenience Our safety Only physical actions Initial performance of the deed.
from there. Let’s set the background of the story. state highways or back roads. The problem we face. Having been deprived of his prey.I think of all the parables this is perhaps the Lord’s most well known. Their economy was that great and there was not much of a police force patrolling these areas. After all who wants to shoulder the burden for more than is truly necessary? To answer the lawyer. Israel is not like central Illinois in that there are many roads to get to the same place. “who is my neighbor?” This is a logical question. So. That is what it meant to be live in those days. From city to city you can get there by interstate. what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” It is clear from the wording used that this lawyer intended to trap Jesus into some strange maze of semantics and speculations. He wanted Jesus to answer with some standard answer and the lawyer would. Did the term neighbor refer so those whose homes bordered his own home? Did apply to those in his close community? Did is include all those within his city? Once we have the boundaries defined then we know whom we can exclude. But in this case we have one road. It was a dangerous journey. But instead he was going to get tripped himself. A windy mountain road. the lawyer asks. Given that any business that was going to occur from city to city had to occur along this road. fraught with danger. Jesus tells a story about what happens along a treacherous road that spans from Jerusalem to Jericho. The lawyer did not dispute that he has an obligation not only to God but also to his neighbor. to which is basically replied “love god and love your neighbor”. Jesus asks the lawyer the law states. Travelers had to be careful or they may find themselves beaten and left for dead as with the traveler in the story. Perhaps over time that they felt slighted by the Jews in Jerusalem and formed their own community with their own temple and worship. a teacher of the Law. especially of the Jews towards the Samaritans. seek to trip him up. There was very little love lost between these two groups. This story is so well known that even the term “good Samaritan” is used by those who are not Christan as term of selfless giving in a time of need. There is some disagreement as to exactly what it fully meant to be a Samaritan during this time period. if you were a brigand your options were limited to where you could rob a person – it had to be along this road. A student. There was a group of people called the Samaritans. So Jesus got the man to answer his own question. It is road well travelled. One thought is that with the conquests of the Greeks in the 4th century BC a number of Jews starting assimilating some of the Greek customs and language. the Law as handed down from God the Father to Moses his servant comes to Jesus with a simple question: “Teacher. But like the lawyer we often want clarity not obscurity when it comes to obligations. especially after hearing this story told so often is that it loses its impact. .
2001. 11 He shall not go in to any dead bodies nor make himself unclean. Perhaps 1 The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. even for his father or for his mother. 1 And the LORD spoke to Moses. 5 and whoever touches a swarming thing by which he may be made unclean or a person from whom he may take uncleanness. Seeing a body laying there along the road there was a good chance that this person has assumed ambient temperature. removing. 2 “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel. which they dedicate to me. Le 22:1-7 . while he has an uncleanness.2 We can see from these passages that there were some strong wording from God regarding how the handling of corpse affect their ability to perform in God’s service. First this body laying along the road was potentially an extreme inconvenience. we are late for a meeting. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society. whatever his uncleanness may be— 6 the person who touches such a thing shall be unclean until the evening and shall not eat of the holy things unless he has bathed his body in water. We see that the Jewish man was beaten by some robbers and left for dead. How often do we fail to help others because it would inconvenience ourselves? We are on our way to work. Le 21:10-11 2 The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. ‘If any one of all your offspring throughout your generations approaches the holy things that the people of Israel dedicate to the LORD. that person shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD. The touching. 2001. and afterward he may eat of the holy things. on whose head the anointing oil is poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments. There are number of reasons why this would happen. shall not let the hair of his head hang loose nor tear his clothes. And while he lay along the road side many passed this man by including both a priest and a Levite. The question come to us. caring. 4 None of the offspring of Aaron who has a leprous disease or a discharge may eat of the holy things until he is clean. 7 When the sun goes down he shall be clean. transporting of dead bodies was somebody else’s job. There was no ambiguity here. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society. It is quite clear that they were not to handle dead bodies in any form lest they should become ceremonially unclean. S. because they are his food. S. Whoever touches anything that is unclean through contact with the dead or ……. 3 Say to them. saying. 10 “The priest who is chief among his brothers.Now back to the story. so that they do not profane my holy name: I am the LORD.
He did not know the man. The idea of economic responsibility shows how far Jesus carries this thought. How often do our worries keep of from helping others.we just want to go home and relax and yet we have somebody whose condition is making demands on our time. This carries the duty further than any person would reasonably expect. if a man say he hath faith.. somebody better prepared? And who picks up hitch hikers today since everybody knows that people cannot be trusted like they used to be. especially that of strangers seeking to trick and attack innocent travelers. The last two reasons often parallel the reasons we go though in not picking up hitch hikers or people stranded along the roadside. what doth it profit? 17Even so faith.. It is too easy to merely giving somebody a ride home. if it have not works. 16and one of you say unto them. his people were also despised by this group of Jews. but have not works? can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food. Mothers. but rather people we come into contact with from day to day and week to week? How often do we assure ourselves in our inaction by saying I would help if only …. and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body. How often have we failed to stop because we were late on our way to work? Or perhaps we thought that somebody else would stop. S. Inc. It is 3 American Standard Version. The Samaritan’s service did not end once he brought the man to a place of safety. the bandit would attack at the earliest opportunity. the Samaritan was not releated. His service extended to the giving of money to ensure that this beaten man was taken care of. The last thing of note is that the Samaritan planned to return. but it is quite possible he was attacked while attempting to help a banding posing as a wounded traveler. be ye warmed and filled. In general . He goes beyond decency and opens his pocket book to ensure this fellow is taken care of. The second reason that neither the Levite nor the Priest stopped is that the body on the side of the road presented physical risk. is dead in itself. while their children were small would remind them of the dangers lurking on the road. Bandit often posed as needy travelers. WA : Logos Research Systems. Doubtless there were constant warnings to travelers regarding stranger along the road. It extended beyond just mere physical assistance. When a kindly person would come to aid them. Jas 2:14 . It was merely throwing money at a problem and leaving. 3 The next thing to consider is the extent of his act of mercy. Oak Harbor. After all. Perhaps it isn’t just people stranded along the road. Go in peace. It is too easy to merely write a check. The story does not state as to how the man in this story was attacked. 1995. It meant being actually concerned for this person that you are very follow the reestablishment to the end.? 14 What doth it profit. He had an emotional/spiritual vested interest in this man to make sure that this man was made to whole. my brethren.
This story is listed as one of the parables of Jesus. “the one who showed mercy”. . There is no rebuttal for a truly selfless act by one living person for another. Rather. There is only timid acknowledgement. The very idea of a Samaritan going to such great lengths to help a Jew was an impossibly ridiculous proposition. But after reading Adam Clarke. I do not think that this story is a parable. for a parable is not story about something that really happened.difficult to be concerned about that person that you have as strong an interest in them as you would a family member or a friend. unless it really happened. it is very possible that the events Jesus described actually happened and was well known to his contemporaries.