The Good Samaritan


The story of the Good Samaritan is perhaps the best know of all parables attributed to Jesus. It is found in Luke 10:30-37.

"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.

"A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He 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. The next day he took out two silver coins 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.'

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Where to begin?

Several historical notes. The road to Jericho was a lonely one. There was a great chance of robbery or worse for travelers on this road. Call Jericho the first literary mean street?

And what of the scribe and Pharisee? Scribes are we learned types, those, such as lawyers, who live by applying our wits to other people's problems, compassionate advocates for a fee. Pharisees were those who placed great stock in ritual purity, folks confusing looking good with being good.

And the Samaritan? He's from the wrong side of the track. But inspite of opportunites and appearances, the Samaritan is best able to respond to raw human need. He comes to the rescue of the victim, assures for his recovery and then pledges himself to meeting the basic needs of a stranger.

I love this parable, even though I heed its message all to infrequently. We're all outsides to others. Yet we have the ability to make the other one of us. The lines that divide are arbitrary. Compassion and courage can blur them.

Comments: (2)

  • I love the way Norm captures so much of whatI beli...
    I love the way Norm captures so much of whatI believe is important stuff. Norm gets down and into the nitty-gritty of real life sinewy,flesh and blood humanity and he wants to be there.Maybe not always,"wanting to" that is, but then he choses toand sets his facelike a flint; to hang out on a level of existencerepulsive to many of us. He reminds of someone.There was a guy who lived thousands of years ago.He was monstrously strong, even to the point where no chains could bind him. He was a tormented soul.He had no friends. Family couldn't cope with him.See, he used to wail, scream at the top of his massive lungsday and night. His life was nothing but agony. He roamed lonely places half naked, scarred,filthy, bleeding from infected soreshis eyes reddened, ablaze with pain and fury. He did not belong. Anywhere. Day after day he tore and ripped his body.Day after day. Night after night. Season upon season.He was real and he was a terrifying. He was indeed a monster and a violent brute, uncontrollable. Until he caught the attention of someone else who was other-worldly,who didn't fit in and didn't belong. He was nothing specialin appearance, to say the least. He was nothing special, period, really. At least not to this poor soul. And though his celebrity shone fora few brief moments, he always felt more at home with wretched scum. He heard his shouting, his incessant howling, He is the kind of person Norm Pattis would gladly represent with all diligence. That is what makes him so special, so rare and precious. Yes, he is brilliant and talented and determined. And so are a handful of other lawyers.It is his heart that stands out; it is his unfeigned concern for the downtroddenthat makes him Christlike.His willingness to reach out to the one who has no where else to turn. That is precisely Christlike! Jesus spoke to this man, the Gaderene, he's been called. With the voice that told nothing to become an explosion of sun-hot protons and neutrons and electrons and they did. He spoke to this man and cleansed him of all that was killing him and in an instant he was sitting at Jesus' feet,clothed and clean, his face radiant, in his right mind.And the people from the surrounding area were very, very frightened.
    Posted on March 25, 2009 at 8:57 am by Anonymous
  • This is marketing pablum. He probably is about to ...
    This is marketing pablum. He probably is about to raise his rates and wants to counter it with some bogus claims about his supposed compassion.
    Posted on October 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm by the good samaritan

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