"But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity."
Today's verse speaks of one of Jesus' favorite stories of kindness.
At that point in time the Samaritans were very disliked. Often, they were avoided at all costs and treated as if they were subhuman. That background will help you understand why Jesus' story had such a huge impact on his audience. From a storytelling perspective, it contains a brilliant twist that helps us understand why Jesus could weave such a fantastic tale. In this parable the Samaritan is seen as a hero and his very own people the antagonists. You have to understand this took a lot of guts on his part! This is one of Jesus' greatest attributes - the ability to state what "is" in black and white.
Reading this parable reminds us that if we ever find ourselves in a situation where someone is in need, that we do what Jesus asks - help. It doesn't matter if the person is unlike yourself. You just help, pure and simple. Step up to the plate. "Just do it."
Jesus, make me like the Good Samaritan,
Increase the measure of kindness in my life.
Help me to judge less and help more.
Only you can change our hearts and I put mine
in your hands. Amen.