30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 “And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 “Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, 34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 “On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” 37 And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
Jesus often taught using parables. Parables were stories from the natural realm that Christ used to demonstrate great spiritual truth. The Good Samaritan is one Jesus’ most famous parables.
It is important to remember that parables were not historical accounts and were used to amplify the truth that Jesus taught. Therefore, we must be careful not to over analyze or analogize them as we seek to understand the message Jesus intended. With that in mind, let us look at three simple lessons from this teaching and apply them to our lives. Jesus gives us a blueprint for how we are to interact with folks in our daily lives. Let’s not miss His message.
**First, God uses unlikely people. Jesus made the Samaritan the hero of His story and that is significant. The Samaritans were descendants of the northern kingdom of Israel who had intermarried with the nations that bordered their land centuries before. They were hated by God-fearing Jews and were considered to be half-breeds. The Jews called them dogs to demonstrate their disgust with these compromising peoples.
It is the Samaritan who stopped to aid the victim. While the priest and the Levite ignored the need, the Samaritan went to the need. Let’s be careful not to discount people. You never know who God made use for His glory. Even unlikely people find their way into His story.
**We ought to see the need around us. The priest and the Levite observed the need, yet, they didn’t really “see” the man and offer to help. This may seem simple but it isn’t always the case. We can become so busy and self-focused that we miss opportunities to comfort others. And the reason we miss them is because we don’t see them.
Let’s make it point to ask God to reveal the need around us. We can’t meet every need. We can meet some if we will keep our eyes open and listen for the Holy Spirit’s prompting.
**Service is costly but worth it. The Samaritan was willing to help physically. He bound up His wounds and took Him to the inn so He could recover. But, he also was inclined to pay a price to help this man by leaving provision for the future.
Service is costly. It is costly to us just as was for Jesus. Serving others is worth it. When we serve others we are following in Christ’s footsteps. Service is not easy but it is rewarding and Christ-like. Don’t the let the price of service keep you from meeting needs. You’ll be glad you did.