“‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”
– Luke 10:36-37
In response to Jesus’ example last example about loving your neighbor, a rabbi asks, “Well but Jesus, who is my neighbor?” You see, in those days, fellow Jews only loved fellow Jews. They only cared for their race and their religion. So Jesus tells this story about a Samaritan. Samaritans are considered the worst ever — they are like the lowest class, the outsiders, they’re heretics (in Jewish view). I mean they are bad guys, right? And Jesus says there’s a Jewish man wounded on the road, he’s dying. A Levite, religious guy, is in a hurry, goes past him. A priest is in a hurry, he goes past him. But then, a Samaritan cares for him. And what does he do? He puts him up in a hotel and he feeds him a meal, and he cares for him, and he leaves money saying hey, when he wakes up, make sure that he has everything he needs to get back on his life. And Jesus said, who loved his neighbor? Right? And the rabbi can’t even say the Samaritan. He just says the one who helped, or something like that.
Thank you, God, for the Samaritan. Make us less like the Jew and more like the Samaritan. Take me out of my comfort zone to do work for you.
Have you ever been like the Rabbi? Or have you ever been like the Samaritan?
To be clear, the prayer refers to the Jewish rabbi in the Good Samaritan story, and not Jewish people in general.