Parable of the Good Samaritan

Do you love your neighbour​ as yourself?


“You shall love your neighbour as yourself” is a command from God. But most Christians struggle to obey it, and rightly so. How can we give up our prejudices and love our neighbour as we love ourselves? Humans are naturally programmed to favour self, family and friends over everybody else. Even Jesus had a disciple who the Bible referred to as the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Still, despite our prejudices, and our history. Everyone can be compassionate and helpful to people of different race, culture or class. And I firmly believe that’s the message Jesus intended to get across when He told the parable of The Good Samaritan (Read Luke 10:25-37).

So, my friends, it is time for a new mindset and a new way of thinking.

Don’t wait until the ark door is close before you surrender. I am sure none of you wants to hear the following words when you appeared before Jesus:

41 “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes, and you did not clothe me, I was ill and in prison, and you did not look after me.”

44 ‘They also will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or ill or in prison, and did not help you?”

45 ‘He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

46 ‘Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46).

Are you afraid to talk about racism and discrimination?


Racism and discrimination are undoubtedly significant problems in America; yet still, many people including Christians pretend these evils of society do not exist. No one wants to tackle these problems in any meaningful way.

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Even some of the most celebrated, Religious leaders who assumed duties as moral compasses, and who, of course never minced words when it comes to talk about abortion, gay rights, contraception and other hot button political and social issues are silent on racism and discrimination.

Why? It is hard to say. However, I do not think it is unfair to assume these people are either afraid or are part of the problem.

Still, racism and discrimination are age-old problems. Jesus was a victim of discrimination too. The only reason His people rejected Him was because He was different.

Unlike today’s Religious, Jesus was never silent on the problems of race and discrimination. When He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” He was speaking directly to the racial problem that existed between the Jewish people and their Samaritan neighbors; and when a pesky lawyer said, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded with the parable of the good Samaritan.

Behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25, ESV)
Jesus asked him to repeat what the law says, and the man responded: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27, ESV)

Pressing further, the lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
In parable form, Jesus told of a man (a Jew) travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. Robbers attacked him, took his possessions and clothes, beat him, and left him half dead.

A priest came down the road, saw the injured man, and passed by him on the other side. A Levite passing by did the same.

A Samaritan, from a race hated by the Jews, saw the hurt man and had compassion on him. He poured oil and wine on his wounds, bound them up, then put the man on his donkey. The Samaritan took him to an inn and cared for him.

The next morning, the Samaritan, gave two denarii to the innkeeper for the man’s care and promised to repay him on his way back for any other expenses.
Jesus asked the lawyer which of the three men had been a neighbor. The lawyer answered that the man who showed mercy was a neighbor.
Then Jesus told him, “You go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37, ESV)

 

Who is your Neighbor?


Who is my neighbor? Many Christians struggle with this question. We know the answer, yet it is difficult for us to accept anyone outside of our family, religious, political and social circles as neighbor. Still, this backward thinking is not a new phenomenon. As a matter of fact, that is exactly how the religious leaders of Jesus’ time felt. They were wrong then, and you are wrong now.

Jesus was and is the ultimate teacher. He knows how to break things down so ordinary people can understand. Hence the reason He used the parable of the Good Samaritan to answer an expert in the Mosaic Law, when he asked: “Who is my neighbor?”

Here is how Luke describe the encounter: Luke 10:25-37, “25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 Jesus said to him, “What does the law say and how do you interpret it?”

27 The lawyer answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”

28 And Jesus said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

29 But he, wanting to prove himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 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. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 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. 35 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.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”