In the bible, one of the Parables is the one about the good Samaritan.
Basically, a Jewish traveler is mugged and beaten to a brink of death. A Jewish Rabbi and a Jewish alter boy both see the man, but do not help him. A Samaritan, whose religion is an enemy of the jewish religion, sees the man and helps him.
In your own opinion, what is significant about this parable?
Yeah! I get to be the first to answer this…ok… not so enthusiastic.
What I get out of this (yes I am biased being a health care professional). No matter what race, creed, or religion, we are morally bound to help others in need. his own people passed him by, but a person out of his culture had the compassion to help him… this is our calling also.
If the story was about a young American woman robbed and left for dead and then ignored by an American Catholic priest and an American marine but then rescued by an Iraqi Muslim what do you think its significance would be?
How many times have we walked away saying: 'Don’t get involved - you’ll be sued. Really not my problem, The authorities should help these hobos. Too dangerous for me. He’s just a junkie, drunkard, leave him to the cops. Why doesn’t he get a job?’…a thousand excuses and we walk on.
Hard not to judge but just help, esp. if the guy is totally despicable in our eyes.
Remember the cup of cold water.
St Augustine’s commentary:
A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho;**Adam himself is meant;Jerusalemis the heavenly city of peace, from whose blessedness Adam fell;Jerichomeans the moon, and signifies our mortality, because it is born, waxes, wanes, an dies.Thievesare the devil and his angels.Who stripped him, namely; of his immortality;and beat him, by persuading him to sin;and left him half-dead, because in so far as man can understand and know God, he lives, but in so far as he is wasted and oppressed by sin, he is dead; he is therefore calledhalf-dead.**Thepriestand theLevitewho saw him and passed by, signify the priesthood and ministry of the Old Testament which could profit nothing for salvation.Samaritanmeans Guardian, and therefore the Lord Himself is signified by this name. Thebinding of the woundsis the restraint of sin.Oilis the comfort of good hope;winethe exhortation to work with fervent spirit. Thebeastis the flesh in which He deigned to come to us. The beingset upon the beastis belief in the incarnation of Christ. Theinnis the Church, where travelers returning to their heavenly country are refreshed after pilgrimage. Themorrowis after the resurrection of the Lord. Thetwo penceare either the two precepts of love, or the promise of this life and of that which is to come. Theinnkeeper*is the Apostle. The supererogatory payment is either his counsel of celibacy, or the fact that he worked with his own hands lest he should be a burden to any of the weaker brethren when the Gospel was new, though it was lawful for him “to live by the gospel
I agree with this so much. In most parables the subject of the matter is not to teach you and I direction or theology, but to show us the work of Jesus Christ, the true subject, and to show all humanity the object of His work.
When Jesus Christ wanted to tell us about ourselves he spoke direct, when he told us about himself he spoke in parables.
It is in the action where the blessing lies. The Jews were Jews but that will not carry them. We must take action to please God by showing love to our neighbors. It is the golden rule in action. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is also planting the seed that the new covenant would include everybody not just Jews when the new church is formed. We learn that all are welcome in Jesus’s church but the members of that church will love their neighbors as themselves…
That if “religion” is just something that is imposed from the outside rather than something that is received from the outside and then transformed from the inside out than it is just a “bunch of rules” set in concrete.
And since the “Samaritans” were despised by the Jews, this aspect of the parable was sure to get the Jews of Jesus’s day to, if nothing else, think.
Make one wonder just what kind of “parable” Jesus would use today since so many seem to think that “thinking” is for the higher-ups, the theologians, the learned when thinking is for anyone that has the God-given ability to think.
Being a Christian, being a Catholic is not or at least should not be turning into a parrot.
The Priest and Levite were not bad people. They were merely adhering to the law of Moses Leviticus 21:1-3 thus saving themselves from ritual defilement. Jesus is calling for the law to be written in our hearts, fulfilling Jeremiah chapter 31:33
But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.*