WAS A "GOOD SAMARITAN!"
There are many unknowns in this account.
The Samaritan's name and occupation are unknown. The purpose of his journey is
unknown. His home city is unknown. In fact we know very little except he saw
the wounded man on the side of the road and acted out of compassion on behalf
of the hurting man. He bandaged up the wounds, pouring his own precious wine
and oil on him. The Samaritan acted on what he knew was the right thing to do.
The story is told in Luke 10:25-37.
"And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, Teacher,
what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said to him, 'What is written in
the law? What is your reading of it? So he answered and said, You shall love
the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your
strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. And He said to
him, You have answered rightly; do this and you will live. But he, wanting to
justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? Then Jesus answered and
said: A certain man went down from
A CONTRAST OF NEEDS. The attitudes
manifested by the thieves, the priest and Levite and the Good Samaritan make a
very vivid story. The thieves said, "We need what he has." So they
stripped the man of his clothing, wounded him and left him half dead by the
roadside. The priest and Levite said, "We don't need what he has." So
they passed by on the other side. The Good Samaritan said, "I have what he
needs." He took personal care of the injured man, nursing him back to life
and making sure he was cared for.
A CONTRAST OF SPIRITUALITY. The
thieves were very unrighteous. They cared neither for God nor man. (Romans
6:13.) The priest and Levite were self righteous. They appeared to men to be
righteous but their actions spoke volumes in the opposite direction. (Matthew
23:28.) The Good Samaritan was adorned with the righteousness of Christ. (Titus
2:10.) It was obvious the Samaritan was in a right relationship with God. It
was because of that right relationship with God that he was able to reach out
to a needy man who would normally have been his enemy.
A CONTRAST OF WHAT CONSTITUTES GAIN.
thieves saw only the material goods of the man. There are many who are so
"greedy of gain they will take away the lives of the owner" to
possess the material goods themselves. (Proverbs 1:19.) The priest and Levite
saw only themselves. They could only see what this might cost them. They knew
that to stop and help would endanger their lives, cost them money and time.
These are men who would boast in their self righteousness. Yet they thought
gain would come from keeping what they had. The Good Samaritan saw the need of
the man by the roadside. His concern was not his material goods but helping a
fellow human being in need. He was willing to risk his own safety and spend his
own money to help this hurting Jew.
A CONTRAST OF WORDS AND ACTIONS. The
thieves talked evil and did evil. These wicked men thought evil in their
hearts, spoke evil with their tongue and did evil in their lives. (Matthew
9:4.) Their evil actions were the result of evil planning. The priest and
Levite talked good but did no good. Many "good words" must have been
spoken by these two men. But they were but "mere words." (Isaiah
36:5.) While they talked good they did no good. The Samaritan talked of good
and did good. He was the one who was the neighbor in the story. He showed
mercy. The Good Samaritan was a caregiver to a hurting man. He was even willing
to personally cover the expenses of the needy.
A CONTRAST OF WHO SHOULD BE BLESSED. The
thieves see this man going down the road and think, "he could bless us
with what he has." These men forgot that, "He who is greedy for gain
troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live." (Proverbs
15:27.) The priest and the Levite looked at the man and thought, "this
man, naked and beaten, could never be a blessing to me." They had
forgotten that God's will was for them "to be a blessing." (Zechariah
8:13.) The Good Samaritan had the only Christ-like attitude. He said, "I
can be a blessing to this man." This man had fallen among thieves. He had
been half killed. The Good Samaritan, seeing the man, took him by the hand and
lifted him out of his misery.
A CONTRAST OF BENEVOLENCE. The
thieves said, "What is yours we want and we are going to take it." In
a heartless and cruel act they stripped a man of his clothing and all his possessions,
wounded him and left him to die by the road side. The priest and the Levite
said, "What is mine is mine and I am going to keep it." In a
heartless display of selfishness these two religious leaders pass by. The Good
Samaritan said, "What is mine is yours and you can have it." He
understood the teachings of the Lord concerning being "rich in good works,
ready to give, willing to share." (1 Timothy 6:18.)
A CONTRAST OF BEING PROFITABLE. The thieves
looked and thought, "How can we profit from him." They took what he
had. The priest and the Levite looked and thought, "He is not now nor will
he ever be a profit to us." The Good Samaritan looked and thought, "What
can I do for Him?" Like Jesus, the Good Samaritan went about doing good.
Jesus said we need to stop thinking only
and "Go and do." Go and be a neighbor to the next hurting person you
meet, whether friend or enemy. It is a joy to bind up the wounds of a bleeding
and hurting humanity.
It will also help when I focus on the fact
that God looked past my faults and saw my needs. He provided salvation for me
through the blood of Jesus when I was naked and beaten by the side of the road
of life. (Romans 5:8.) He simply asks that I believe and be baptized to be
saved. (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38.) As Christians Christ lives His life through us
to save a lost world.
By Charles Box,