The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Good Samaritan

The fourth category of teaching parables Jesus gave, is the parables about neighbours. Using the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus Christ taught us who our neighbour is and how to serve our neighbour. This parable is found in Luke 10:30-37

30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[a] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

Interpretation

A very popular story which many of us know. If we go back a few verses and read the bible passage from verse 25, we see that an expert in religious law came to Jesus wanting to know what he should do to inherit eternal life. In response, Jesus said;

You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind”. And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself'”

The man not quite pleased with that answer, asked Jesus who his neighbour was. Jesus’ response is what we call the parable of the good Samaritan.

In this parable we have 5 different people.

  • The wounded man
  • The bandits
  • The priest
  • The temple assistant
  • The Good Samaritan

The bandits wounded the man and treated him as an object to exploit.

The priest treated the wounded man as a problem to avoid. Probably he was too focused on serving God the way religion taught him to.

The temple assistant treated the wounded man as an object of curiosity. Maybe he couldn’t afford to be late to church because his service was needed. So he opted to allow the possibility of a fellow brother to die by the road side just so he can run to go dance and shout in church.

But the Good Samaritan treated the wounded man as a PERSON to love.

Interestingly, if there was anyone who should walk away, it would have been the good Samaritan because of the discord that existed between the Jews and the Samaritan. However what made the Samaritan good, was that he overlooked the racial and cultural differences and helped.

There is a reason why Jesus presented the picture the way He did. The story didn’t show a Jew helping a fellow Jew or a Samaritan helping a fellow Samaritan. That kind of help would have been good. However, we all know that it is easy for us to help those we love and those who identify with what we identify with. It is more difficult to love those who are different from us.

It breaks my heart whenever i hear fellow believers tearing down people of other faiths and wishing them doom because of something that someone else who identifies with that faith did. This is one concept i can never understand with believers. One minute we are talking about how we should represent Christ and the next minute our words are like daggers piercing into the hearts of certain races, cultures, or faiths as we spit dooms and wish evil to befall an entire people. I cannot comprehend it.

We cannot love others if we don’t see them as persons also created in God’s image and likeness. As believers, we are to treat each other as fellow humans; not as objects.

From the illustration, we learn 3 principles about loving our neighbour.

Lack of love is often easy to justify, even though it is never right.

Our neighbour is anyone of any race, creed, social background.

Love is an act.

If we keep saying “God knows in my heart that i love that person” without showing actions of love to that person, we simply do not love that person. Love cannot be hidden. It is shown. It is active. If you love someone, you show up for that person. You help, you support and you stand by that person.

Jesus gave this parable by using a needy person as a case study. We are surrounded by needy people. The needs varies from financial needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs to physical needs. There is no good reason for refusing to help someone in need. We might not be able to offer money always. But we should be able to offer a phone call, send text message, pray and encourage. If we are able to offer financial support and we withhold that help and only offer prayers, that isn’t good enough either.

This parable made me start reviewing how i am being of help especially in this season where we don’t really have to go searching for who to help. Many people have lost their jobs due to the current pandemic. Some have jobs, but have been thrown into the role of babysitting, teaching and working simultaneously. Some are sick. Some are unable to go out due to self isolation. Many have what they need but they are afraid.

Our neighbours need help. They need food, prayers, assurance and encouragement. Let’s be a good Samaritan to them.

If you would like to read previous parables, please click here.

25 thoughts on “The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Good Samaritan

  1. serving the King

    Amen! I am really enjoying your Parables of Jesus series. Love should indeed be shown in a practical way, and as usual I find your insights to be very thoughtful and challenging (in a positive way, I mean). God bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Good Samaritan — Grace Over Pain – INTROVERTED EVANGELIST

  3. “Love cannot be hidden. It is shown. It is active.” Beautiful words to live by. May we all love with all of our heart, in word and in deed. It is time that we show the love of Christ to a lost and dying world, regardless of creed, color, nationality or financial status. Jesus was all about seeking and saving the lost. We need to follow in our Lord’s example. Thanks for this very well written post. Blessings to you my beautiful sister in Christ. ❤ Love, Donna Marie 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonderful post Efua. This is my favourite parable. It is one of the inspiration for my blog – pouring in the oil and wine. But, you have given me a new revelation to this parable which is very inspiring.

    You highlighted how each person who came in contact with the wounded man treated him differently. May God help us to simply love each other instead of exploiting, avoiding, rediculing or ignoring others. Thank you. You are a blessing to us. I enjoyed reading this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Efua, this was very good, and it is encouraging. Yes, when we are presented with someone in need right before us, we should not walk away, but we should offer to help where we are able.

    But, there are many needy people, especially right now, and so we need to pray for discernment regarding which ones to help, and how best to help them. For, we are going to receive all kinds of requests for donations for this or for that, and so we must pray and ask the Lord to show us where the real needs are and how best we can help meet those needs.

    One day I was going to the Chick-fil-A drive-through when I started to drive past a woman seated on the curb in the parking lot. She had bags with her, so I assumed she was a homeless person. So, I pulled up to where she was, and I asked her if she needed anything to eat. She said, “No,” that she had just eaten. So, I drove off.

    But, as I went to get in the line at the Chick-fil-A, the Lord wouldn’t let me, so I got out of line, and I drove back over to where the woman was seated, and I parked my car, and I went over to where she was, and I sat down next to her and began to talk with her, to find out how I could help her. She didn’t want food, and she didn’t want me to take her anywhere. So, I sat and talked with her about Jesus, and I shared my faith with her, but she didn’t seem interested in that, either.

    So, when I had exhausted all the Lord had put upon my heart, and the woman kept saying she didn’t need anything, I got back in my car and I left. So, did I help her? I don’t know. I just know that I did what the Lord prompted me to do, and I tried to help, but she didn’t want help. But, I don’t know how the Lord may have used that in her life, or if later she maybe gave her heart to the Lord. So, I guess the important thing here is to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, and to obey him, and then we just need to leave the results to him.

    I don’t know why I shared that story, but God does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do agree. In response to your question “did i help her?”, you did offer to help. And most importantly you did as the Holy Spirit led you. Some times, all the Holy Spirit is testing, is our obedience.

      Certain things i feel we should generally do as believers. Checking up on each other and building each other’s faith should be part of who we are and what we do.

      Like you mentioned, there are many ways to help. Praying for someone is a way to help. I believe we all can and should help in ways we are led to. And if we don’t feel any prompting to help someone in a particular way, we can continue to pray for that individual 🙂

      Beautiful story

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Efua, thank you! So, speaking of checking up on one another, how are you doing? Are things getting back to normal where you live? Or, are they still just as crazy as they are here in America? I do think of you often, and wonder how you are doing. So, it is always nice to hear from you. You are a special lady!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aww Sue, thank you! Still in lockdown here. I think we have settled into a new rhythm of doing things. We’ve got to do what we need to do to keep everyone safe. How are you doing?

        Liked by 1 person

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