The parable of the Good Samaritan is a didactic story told by Jesus in Luke 10:25–37. It is about a traveler who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road. First a priest and then a Levite comes by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan comes by. Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured man. Jesus is described as telling the parable in response to the question from a lawyer, “And who is my neighbor ?” whom Leviticus (Lev 19:18) says should be loved. In response, Jesus tells the parable, the conclusion of which is that the neighbour figure in the parable is the man who shows mercy to the injured man– that is, the Samaritan. He then tells the lawyer to “go and do likewise.” His answer corresponds to his words in the Gospel of Matthew 5:43-48, to love one’s enemy.
It has come to my attention on more than one occasion, that Christians seem to not understand Christ’s commandment to love your neighbor/enemy.
Who is our neighbor? Is it the guy who sits next to me at church? Yes.
Is it the guy who I live next door to? Yes.
Is it the Muslim who leers at me from his fast sports car? Yes.
Is it the homosexual who proudly waves his gay flag in my face? Yes.
You see, my ‘neighbor’ is anyone who I come in contact with on a daily basis. It’s not just the nice white guy who I have so much in common with next door, it’s also the East Indian man who tries to cheat me out of something at the market. It’s the Muslim who laughs himself to sleep at night with the thought of how he insulted and embarrassed you that day.
Too many times we make boundaries for ourselves and justify our actions according to our tastes. What would you do if you saw a van full of Muslims chanting ‘Allah’ roaring down the road get into a car accident? Would you stop and help? Could you give the breath of life to someone who desired more than anything else to play soccer with your head?
Graphic, I know, but very real and we as the representatives of Christ have much to be ashamed of.
Remember one thing: there is absolutely nothing different between you and that Muslim BUT the grace of God.