Friday, June 22, 2012

Reflections on the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:29-37 (NIV)

29b he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 

 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Sometimes I wish Jesus were still around so I could ask a few question.  Like - what happened to the wounded man?  Did he recover?  Did he thank the Good Samaritan? Did he go forth and never fall again into harm's way?

Or did he retrace his steps and fall back into the ditch?  Did he go down the same road and make the same mistakes that got him there in the first place?  Did he run into another group of robbers?  Did he jump back into his ditch because that was the life he knew?  How many denarii did the innkeeper end up with? At what point does the traveller have to take responsibility for his own path?

Just asking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Jewish historian Josephus tells us the first-century road was approximately eighteen miles long. The Romans established sentry posts along the route to act as protection against bandits Travelers for centuries have used this route and we know there was a synagogue in Jerusalem. It was a dangerous route to take

“Now by chance a certain priest came down that road.”
“And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side“.

Do you suppose this priest had just left the synagogue?
Was this priest afraid to touch the man thinking him dead and afraid to become unclean?
That would make the priest unfit to enter the temple for some time. Until the time of his cleansing.
This particular priest moved as far away from the injured man as he could.

The Samaritan or Bene-Yisrael, meaning Children of Israel, is an example of how the children of God should conduct themselves when they see someone in need.

But there is more.
The road was long windy and dangerous. There were many crevices for thieves and bandits to hide in. Their prey would be unaware of the bandits hidden away. There was also a pass Tala`at-ed-Dumm,meaning"ascent of blood."
Elisha's Spring of Jericho provided water and life to the city of Jericho and for anyone that survived the journey down that long dangerous road.

What does that bring to mind?