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The purpose of this blog is give praise to the Word of God, the Holy Bible.
I decided to delve into the parable of the Good Samaritan , and read some commentaries on it. As usual, I found that there is a lot of meaning contained in this story. Let s look at a portion of the parable:
30 "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. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He 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. 35The next day he took out two silver coinse 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." Luke 10:30-35 (NIV)
On the first level, this story is teaching Christians to be kind and to love their neighbors. As we live our lives, we will come upon people who are in great need. We are shown by this parable to stop what we are doing and help the person, as best we can. The Good Samaritans compassion is not merely felt in his heart; he takes action. Notice that he gives of his time, effort, expertise, and money. His assistance to the needy man is full and thorough. He doesn t put a bandage on his wounds, lean him up against a tree and move on; he helps the man as completely as he can.
On a second level, if we consider the actions of the Samaritan as an example to us to follow, we see that the standard for loving our neighbor is extremely high. Who can live that way on a daily basis? Although we should try to imitate the Samaritan with our fellow man, our chances of earning our way into heaven by right living are nil. This parable teaches that it is impossible for us to be good enough on our own to obtain salvation. It is only through Christ that salvation can be attained.
48"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48 (NIV)
On a third level, Jesus parable teaches against racism, nationalism, and xenophobia. (Great word, huh?) There was no love lost between the Jews and the Samaritans. The two groups had a troubled history going back five hundred years to the Babylonian Captivity. The Jews considered the Samaritans half-breeds and would have nothing to do with them for social, political, and religious reasons.
So anyway, it is a Samaritan who is the hero of this parable, and the example to follow. The Jewish priest and Levite are the ones who fall short morally, because they ignore the wounded man. Jesus is saying that we should love our neighbor, and that includes people who are different from us. Within this group of people are those who many consider inferior, undesirable, or even enemies.
On a fourth level, the parable of the Good Samaritan is symbolic of the relationship between Jesus Christ and mankind. The injured man in the parable represents mankind; going down from Jerusalem is man s fall from grace; the robbers are Satan s demons; being stripped of clothing is man s loss of virtue. The priest and the Levite are religious authorities; Jesus is the Samaritan. The mans wounds are the effects of sin; the oil is the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the wine is the blood of Christ; the inn is the church; the Samaritan s departure from the inn is Jesus Ascension; his return to the inn is the Second Coming.
As I said in the beginning, I wrote this blog to praise the Word of God. A short, simple story of kindness to a stranger contains a multitude of levels of spiritual truths that speak to Christians across the centuries.
16"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)