Jesus Parable of the Good Samaritan
What is Jesus' Parable of the Good Samaritan?
Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan is recorded in 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 fell into the hands of 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, took him to an inn and took care of him. 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."
"'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'" (Luke 10:25-37).
Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan Explained
In Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan, He is interacting with a lawyer. The man's question provided Jesus with an opportunity to define what His followers' relationship should be to their neighbors. Jesus used a parable of a hurt man to reinforce this idea.
In order to understand this parable, it is essential to know that the Samaritans were considered a low class of people by the Jews since they had intermarried with non-Jews and did not keep all the law. Therefore, Jews would have nothing to do with them. However, the “Good Samaritan” saw only a person in dire need of assistance and assist him he did, above and beyond the minimum required. The Samaritan saw his neighbor as anyone who was in need.
Because the good man was a Samaritan, Jesus is drawing a strong contrast between those who knew the law and those who actually followed the law in their lifestyle and conduct. We are to show compassion and love for those we encounter in our everyday activities. We are to love others regardless of their race or religion; the criteria is need. If they need and we have the supply then we are to give generously and freely, without expectation of return.
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