The Good Samaritan
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?
30 Jesus made answer and said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance a certain priest was going down that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And in like manner a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion,
34 and came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on them oil and wine; and he set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow he took out two shillings, and gave them to the host, and said, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, I, when I come back again, will repay thee.
36 Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers?
Jesus was asked the question who is my neighbor? To which He gave the parable of the Good Samaritan.
The Greek word 'plesion' is translated as 'neighbor' and this makes us lose the main meaning and understanding of the Parable. The word comes from the root word 'pelas' which means 'near'.
The word 'plesion' means someone close. It does not necessary mean, a person living nearby, nor an acquaintance. The reason of the people asking Jesus the question is because there was more depth to the relationship which they needed to understand.
If we take the people Jesus took as example in the parable then only would we understand what the question was. The people whom Jesus chose as example were
And a Samaritan
Why did Jesus take these 3 as example and what was common between them? The thing which was common between them is that they all were believers and followers of Yahweh.
The Samaritans were people who worshiped the Lord God but people who did not agree to the traditions of the Jews. It was for this reason they were hated by the Jews and history has records of the wars fought between them even inside Synagogues. They were not allowed by the Jews even to share the natural resources like well water especially when the Jews needed it, so were given time slots for this. It is like the caste wars among the Hindus in India.
If in English I would have to ask the question who is my neighbor to Jesus I would have put it as 'who is my believer brother or who are my brethren?'
Of the examples Jesus took symbolized the following:
A priest was a person who was a doer of traditions.
Although a priest had to come from the tribe of Levite, when Jesus took a Levite as an example here it symbolized a person who is born believer.
A Samaritan here was a person hated by the above people as been void of God, but a person who truly loved God against all odds. v
If today Jesus was to answers the same question and had to give a similar examples I am sure He would chose the following as example.
A Catholic Priest
An Israelite Jew
A Believer (Protestant)
What Jesus teaches us through this parable is that a person is not a brethren by doing traditions or been born in a selected family (by blood) but by having God with them (by true faith).
Even today we have a large portion of the Church who do not understand this parable and do traditions to become Christian brethren - God's people. We also have a great portion of people who are deceived by the word 'Israel', they consider the Jews (followers of Judaism) having roots in the country Israel as God's people (by blood).
What Jesus is telling us today is - we are not Christians because we go to Church or because we are born in a Christian family. We become a Christian when we have Christ in us, when the light and nature of Christ shines in us and in our way of life.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, I thank You for letting me know You and for revealing Yourself to me as my God and my Savior. Lord, help me to be your child by having You shine in me in everything about me, my thoughts, my deeds, my relationships, my worship, my givings, my receivings...
This prayer I make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripture ]
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
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