“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’”
Everyone has heard the phrase “good Samaritan”, and I dare say you may have used it a time or two yourself.
Samaria was the ancient capital of the Northern tribes of Israel. During the captivity those left behind intermixed with the Assyrian captives, thus producing the race known as Samaritans. The Jews despised and hated the Samaritans, which is why this story is such a surprise to His audience, especially when two pure Jews pass by the wounded Jewish man.
The lesson presented here is one against prejudice, bigotry, and racism.
This is a lesson America needs to learn.
The story begins with the question, “Who is my neighbor [that I should love as myself]?”
Jesus response basically says, “Look around and everyone you see is your neighbor!”