The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Oh my, an atheist talking about a story from the Bible. This should be interesting. In Luke 30-35 the parable of the Good Samaritan is told by Jesus:

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by 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, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii 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.’

At the end of the story Jesus asks the expert in the law who was the most neighborly and then advises him to go and do likewise.

This is, of course, a parable about taking care of strangers in need. When we see people in need how many of us want to reach out and help? How far does that sentiment go? Is it only to people in your community? How about to people in your country? What about people in other parts of the world?

When we talk about helping others does the first thing that comes to mind offering money or sending donations of food or clothing? Help can come in many forms. From something more traditional like offering money or goods to people who have suffered a disaster to something as simple as a kind word or just being there for someone who is having a hard day. Even just smiling and waving at strangers can be enough.

Too many people when confronted with a person in need would rather walk on the other side of the road. There has been too much talk recently about not being willing to take people in because they were foreign or different. They might be dangerous or come here to harm us. In the parable above, the Samaritan risked his own health and safety rescuing the robbery victim. The bandits could have waited around and ambushed him when he went to help. He took a chance and helped out a person he saw had been set upon rather than crossing the road and continuing on his way, not wanting to get involved.

If more people reach out and even do some of the simpler things such as being kinder and friendlier to someone who they may not even know is suffering, we can take simple steps to make the world a better place for everyone.

 

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