On love, service, and the Parable of the Good Samaritan


If Jesus taught the Parable of the Good Samaritan today, I imagine that the example He might use to represent the “Samaritan” who takes compassion on and cares for the wounded traveler would be represented by a person who is considered completely outside the margins by the majority of faithful, God-fearing Christian believers.
It would likely be a person the majority sees as unworthy, a violator of God’s law, with unorthodox beliefs and social practices, whom the majority would be considered to be offensive to God. They would probably be despised, and maybe even downtrodden by the majority.

If you are willing, please ponder in your heart who are different kinds of people who could represent the downtrodden, the enemy, the lesser-than, the outside the margins, the violators of our perceptions of God’s law, and the practicers of unorthodox beliefs and social practices whom could represent Jesus’ “Samaritan” of our day.
Then, please consider that real underlying irony of the Parable seems to be that the despised, apostate, unclean, abomination-to-God person of the Samaritan, who took compassion on the wounded traveler after both the Priest and the Levite passed the traveler on the other side because they didn’t want to become unclean by helping the traveler, actually…represents…Jesus. Jesus is the outsider to the majority and to those in authority.

And, we are the wounded traveler unto whom He shows compassion as the outsider.
Jesus teaches that we are supposed to “love our neighbor” and do likewise as the Samaritan did unto other travelers.

But, not only that. We are supposed to experience love not only for the wounded traveler, but for the outsider, the Samaritan, the person whom represents Jesus in the Parable.

The Lawyer asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus teaches him in the Parable that Love is the Answer. Love God, and love our neighbor. In the Parable, it’s the same thing.

(Luke 10:25-37)
P.S. For those who haven’t studied the topic, the Jews hated the Samaritans with a vengeance. The Samaritans grew from forbidden Israelite intermarriage with non-Israelite tribes, and they blended Jewish traditions and rituals with non-Israelites. They were considered the most hated, immoral apostates and abominations to God by the Jews. They made their own Temple on Mount Gerizim, and the Jews destroyed it as heretical. Additionally, the Jews believed that the Samaritans had desecrated the Jewish Temple at Passover with human bones. Whenever you read about the Samaritans in the New Testament, know that there is more depth to the story that the writer(s) are wanting to convey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s