“Go and do likewise” ~ Luke 10:37
This week’s gospel was the parable of the good Samaritan. We’ve all heard it – it’s one of the better known parables of Christ. I read a bible study that looked at this parable a little differently. In the parable, a man was robbed, beaten nearly to death and left on the side of the road. A priest came along, saw the man and passed by on the other side of the road. Likewise, a Levite happened upon the scene and passed by on the other side of the road. Finally, a Samaritan came along and, filled with compassion, stopped and cared for the man, then put him on this own animal and took him to the nearest inn leaving money for the innkeeper with orders for him to care for the man.
These men were on their way from Jerusalem to Jericho. If you aren’t familiar with the geography, it’s about 15 miles between the two cities – not a short journey on foot or even on an animal. As the priest and the Levite passed by the beaten man they saw an obstacle, something that would lengthen their journey – get in the way. The Samaritan saw the man as a brother, as part of the journey.
Here’s another way to look at it:
A man was riding a bus one day and the young man standing next to him asked if he knew what time it was. The older man didn’t answer. When the young man exited the bus, a friend of the older man asked him why he had been so rude to the young man. He responded “If I had given that young man the time of day, he probably would have asked where I was going and then we would have started talking about our interests and eventually I would probably have invited him over for dinner. When he came to dinner, he would have met my daughter and they probably would have fallen in love and I don’t want my daughter to fall in love with a man who can’t afford a watch!”
The point of the parable is often said to be to point out to us that it is impossible for us to achieve the perfect love and obedience required to earn our salvation. But tied to that, it’s also about how we look at and treat the people around us. I’d like to think that if any of us saw a stranger who had been beaten up on the side of the road we would stop to help. But it’s not just the extreme cases that this parable speaks to. It’s about the person working at the next desk over, standing in front of you in line, or sitting next to you on the bus. God wants us to treat all of our brothers and sisters with compassion and mercy.
Your challenge this week is to create a card using this scripture or another verse that reminds us to treat each other with compassion and mercy. When uploading your project, please use keyword ODBDBVT89 and then hop over to Our Daily Bread Designs Forum and share it with us!