But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:29-37
I have heard the Parable of the Good Samaritan since I was a child in Sunday school and it has always been one of my favorites. I think because it is straight and to the point. We don’t need to parse the words to see what Jesus really meant and there is really no need for clarification. The Samaritans and Jews had no love for each other. Both peoples believed theirs was the true religion of God and that the other had fallen away from the true faith. Jesus is trying to show the young lawyer that one’s brother has nothing to do with family or religion or ethnic group. In God’s eyes we are all each other’s brothers and sisters.
As I wrote yesterday it is likely that this lawyer went away and never looked back. Jesus had given him the answer to what we have to do to have eternal life. Of course that is impossible without Jesus. Jesus’ teachings however gave the people around Him who really would give them eternal life. Most people want a do it yourself plan to salvation. We want to earn our salvation and have a suspicion that anything free must be worth the cost.
I think the lawyer’s problem is the same problem that plagues most unbelievers; they just do not want to believe. What I have found when answering questions from unbelievers is they ignore what does not fit their world view, say whatever proof they are given is not strong enough or set up a straw man to counter. Basically they just do not want to believe and no matter how much evidence they are given it will never be enough. Still we must keep trying to reach them.
Love toward God and love toward each other is what is required. We will always fall short of God’s ideal. Fortunately we are not alone in our struggle. God have provided a way and that way is Jesus.
Have a blessed day,