‘….And who is my neighbour?…’ (Luke 10:29-37)
Having looked at the parables in Matthew’s Gospel and given that, for the most part, it is these same parables we find in Mark’s Gospel, albeit sometimes written slightly differently, we shall move on to those parables found only in Luke’s Gospel, beginning with one of the most well- known of all.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is possibly the most universally known parable of all that we find in any of the Gospel narratives. Even those who would not claim to have any faith whatsoever have heard of the Good Samaritan, even if they are not fully aware of the content or context of the story. The question is, however, what does it say to us today?
If we look at this story in great detail and consider the question initially asked by the expert in the law, …and who is my neighbour?…, alongside the different characters we find portrayed here, there is enough material here for many sermons. Yet for all that, if we look straight to the heart of what Jesus is saying here, there is one clear and simple message that should be obvious to all of us.
We must be willing to help others at all times, even if that involves a cost to us, and not just in a financial sense. Such help should not be discrimatory in any sense of the word. No matter the gender, race or background of an individual, our offer of help should be the same. And finally, any help we offer must be practical and not just a passive sense of compassion. Only the Samaritan was willing to offer such help in this story.
P.S. In the Gospel of John (8:48) Jesus was called a Samaritan by some Jews. Why might this have been?