In this thesis, the parable of the good Samaritan is discussed. The basis of the parable and its significance are detailed.
The Basis of the Parable
Jesus´ purpose for giving this parable is to explain who a man´s neighbor is. As could be read from the scripture below:
“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself” (Luk 10:25-27).
So, a proper understanding of who a person´s neighbor is, and loving him or her as oneself is a key requirement, if one wants to see the Kingdom of God. The Lawyer asked to know who is called a neighbor (Luk 10:29). Jesus replied to him by giving the parable (read Luk 10: 30-35).
According to the Bible, armed robbers had attacked a man (who was a Jew) and had left him almost dead in the way. A priest, who was a fellow Jew, went down the same way but seeing the dying man, refused to attend to him. He feared that he would be impure by touching the man. Similarly, A Levite (also a Jew) seeing the wounded man, and wishing to avoid defilement, ignored him. Though he went and looked on him and left him there. It was a Samaritan who got down from his donkey and took care of the dying man and sent him to the nearest health center for treatment.
A question to the Lawyer is, so, which of these three, do you think, was neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers? (Luk 10:36). His answer is, “The one doing the deed of mercy to him” (Luk 10:37). Jesus, therefore, charged him to go and do likewise (Luk 10:37).
How could a Samaritan be a neighbor to the Jew? The Lawyer was not pleased with the whole scenario. The reasons are that the Jews saw their fellow Jews as their neighbors (Lev 19:18, Luk 10:29), but not people like the Samaritans because:
- Samaritans were persons from whom a Jew had no right to expect any help or support, because of the enmity which existed between them.
- The Samaritans were descendants of those who had not been deported or killed in the fall of the northern kingdom in 722 B.C. (2Ki 17:23-40). These survivors had intermarried with the heathen colonists brought in from Babylonia by the Assyrian conquerors. So these people were looked upon as unclean traitors to Jewish blood (.
- The Samaritans were seen as strangers (Luk 17:11-18) and not part of the Commonwealth of Israel.
- Jews have no dealings with Samaritans (Joh 4:9)
- Samaritans were considered to have demons (Joh 8:48).
How do we go and do the same as the Samaritan did? We may do this by accepting people who are different from us. Accept and help other people that you do not like. Examples include people of other faiths and the homosexuals.
If you are to love your enemies (Matt 5:44) who are looking to see your downfall, who would be happy to see you and your family impoverished and destroyed, Then what about that homosexual who treats your diseases, your dentists? The teacher who teaches you knowledge in school? He or she may be your chef, bus driver, the military officer who defends and protect you against external aggression, the police officer who protects you day and night. The immigration officer who gave you your visa and resident permit, the minister who protects the right of the immigrants, and the vulnerable, and so on?
Are we not supposed to love them and pray for them? I do not have any scriptural basis to justify homosexuality as an act of righteousness. Yes, it is a sin as far as I know, for the Bible condemns it (Lev 18:22, Rom 1:25-28, 1Co 6:9, 1Ti 1:9-10) but they are our neighbors. They deserve to be respected and treated with dignity just as any other person.
This parable of Jesus is not given just to amuse believers. It is a call to remove hatred from our hearts and begin to accept and love all people just as we do love ourselves.
Prayer: Help us, Dear Lord, to love all people as we love ourselves. In the name of Jesus Christ.