LOVING OTHERS

AND JESUS SAID

A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a Jewish priest along; but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of the man. ‘I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’

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

The man replied, “Yes, now go and do the same.”  Luke 10:30-37

There was deep hatred between Jews and Samaritans. The Jews saw themselves as pure descendants of Abraham, while the Samaritans were a mixed race produced when Jews from the northern kingdom intermarried with other peoples after Israel’s exile. To this legal expert the person least likely to act correctly would be the Samaritan. In fact, he could not bear to say the word Samaritan in answer to Jesus’ question. This expert’s attitude betrayed his lack of the very thing that he had earlier said the law commanded – love.