A few things to note in this passage:
- For important historical context on this passage, I recommend that you first read: Jewish and Samaritan Relations During the Time of Christ
- Jesus’ counter-cultural approach to Samaritans (see all also Luke 17 and John 4) is one of the most obvious ways that we can see his commitment to breaking down social and ethnic barriers.
- This “Parable of the Good Samaritan” is one of Jesus’ most well known teachings. If asked what it is about, most people would probably say, “loving your neighbor” – which it is. But, it is not just about loving your neighbor – it also contains a powerful message about loving those who are socially or ethnically different. There was enormous hatred between Jews and Gentiles during the time of Christ. Jesus’ decision to make a Samaritan the hero of the story was probably very shocking to the Jews who were listening to the parable. The would have probably expected the Samaritan to be the robber or maybe, at best, the man who was robbed and beaten.
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The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30In reply Jesus said: “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. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He 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. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[c] 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.’
36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
- Luke 10:27 Deut. 6:5
- Luke 10:27 Lev. 19:18
- Luke 10:35 Greek two denarii
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