One of the best known sections in the Bible is THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN: ‘Then Jesus answered and said, “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among THIEVES, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance A CERTAIN PRIEST came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise A LEVITE, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But A CERTAIN SAMARITAN, as he journeyed, came where He was. And when he saw him, HE HAD COMPASSION. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, He took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper and said to him, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you’ Luke chapter 10 verses 30-35.
The key characters had differing responses to the man’s need, which can be expressed in the following ways:
the THIEVES: ‘What is his can be ours, if we take it.’
the PRIEST: ‘What is mine could be his, but I don’t want to get involved.’
the LEVITE: ‘What is mine could be his, if the circumstances were different.’
the SAMARITAN: ‘All mine is freely his, if he needs it’
The parable has often been used by non-Christians to illustrate how we ought to treat each other. Sadly, however, they fail to see that, primarily, God is encouraging us to act towards each other in the manner in which He has acted towards us. Our sin had alienated us from Him; yet, ‘when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son’, Romans chapter 5 verse 10.
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