Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
This parable of the Good Samaritan is Jesus trying to teach us what it looks like to love our neighbors, but also Jesus teaching us something about how we view the “other” in our lives. We, as humans, like to categorize people; we want to group people. I think we do this naturally; it is just a way for our brains to sort through all the data that passes through it.
The way we think the story should go is that the priest would stop to help the man. If anyone is going to be compassionate to his fellow Jew, it would be the priest, but he crossed to the other side of the road. Then we are to think that maybe since the priest failed, the Temple assistant would do the right thing; it can’t be that both the pastor AND the associate pastor abandoned the man. But this man does no better; he walks over, looks at the man, and then keeps going. Then the twist in the story comes, the bit Jesus wants us to pay attention to, a Samaritan comes down the road. Now you would think, especially if you were in the group of people Jesus was initially told this story to, that the Samaritan would keep going. Maybe you would even think he might kick the guy or look and see if the bandit took all his money. If you were in that group listening to Jesus, you would be thinking evil thoughts about the Samaritan. And that is when the unexpected happens, the Samaritan shows mercy on the Jew. How can the “other” be the person who will help?
Join me in the video as we talk about this idea of the “other” being the one who shows radical love and what we should learn from this.
- Have you ever been the oppressor (actively or passively) of another group of people?
- How would you feel if that person, that “other,” became someone who helped you in a time of need? How would that change the way you view that person?
- What does it look like to love the “others” in your life just as much as you love those in your group?
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