The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV)
In a society where capitalism and individualism are prevalent, we may not look around us. Especially in recent years, egotism is widespread, causing people not to think of others but to think of their own interests—personally, regionally, and nationally. At the news of civil wars in other countries, wandering refugees, various forms of human-rights violations, or damage to the weak, we become increasingly insensitive and often consider it ordinary daily news. In this age of lack of love, the love of a good Samaritan explained by Jesus in Luke 10 is an excellent example of how we must love our neighbors. Above all, we are led to eternal life by practicing its love.
One expert in the law asked Jesus what to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus said to love our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all our mind. Jesus also said to love our neighbor as ourselves. When the expert asked who our neighbor was, Jesus enlightened him with a stunning parable.
A Jew was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
On his way, he fell into the hands of robbers. They robbed him of his all possessions and stripped him of his clothes. Moreover, they beat him almost to death and ran away. The Jew was lying unconscious on the street. A priest happened to be going down the same street and found him. The priest suspected that he was dead because he did not move. He wanted to check. On the other hand, he thought his reputation would be highly damaged if someone saw him approaching the man but just passing by without doing anything. So, he pretended not to see the man and walked on the other side intentionally. Nevertheless, he really wondered if the man was dead, so he turned his eyes slightly without moving his head and glanced at the body quickly. But he thought he would need to stop his way and spend a considerable amount of time and money to help the Jew. Eventually, he went away as if nothing had happened.
After a while, a Levite was coming to the place. His steps were very fast because he had an important meeting. At just that moment, he was surprised at one of his people who had collapsed on the road. He wondered if the man was alive. But he thought he would be late for the meeting or miss it if the man was alive and needed his help. So, the Levite decided not to check the man. The Levite also passed by quickly.
After the priest and the Levite passed by, doing nothing, a Samaritan was going through. He came to Judaea for his business. On his way, he found the man lying on the street. He quickly came upon him and checked his condition. Fortunately, the man was alive, so he felt he could save his life by doing something. By the way, the man was the Jew, who disliked and despised the Samaritan’s nation and his people. The Jews did not socialize with his people and considered Samaritans disgusting. He felt hurt in his mind. However, the fallen Jew was dying. His status was more urgent than the Samaritan’s broken heart. The Jew was so badly beaten that the Samaritan could not recognize his face. He was even naked. The Samaritan felt deep compassion. It was obvious that the man would die if he left him.
The Samaritan poured oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them. He put the man on his own donkey and brought him to an inn. He carefully laid him down in a room and nursed him all night. It seemed that there was improvement, little by little. Even though he could not keep his promise that day, he thanked and valued that he had saved the almost-dead stranger.
Early the next morning, the Jew was better than the previous day, but he still needed someone’s care. The Samaritan thought he should come back to him after resolving the business that he could not do the day before. Fortunately, he had some money in his wallet. He took out some of it and gave it to the innkeeper, asking him to take care of the person lying in his room. He added that whatever more he spent, he would repay when he returned. Then he went on his way.
The good Samaritan was a man who obeyed the word of Jesus.
He stopped his busy steps as soon as he saw a man on the ground. He did not turn his face, even though the Jew was his enemy, who was despising and mocking his people. However, he felt compassion for a person in trouble and did not spare his time and money to help. He did and kept the highest commandment Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” God gives great blessings and eternal life to such people.
When the fallen Jew woke up and realized that the one who helped him was a Samaritan, he repented his past deeds against Samaritans and felt significant gratitude for his mercy. Also, he noticed how foolish his past behaviors were.