The Good Samaritan : Our responsibilities are not defined by laws or borne by governments. They are defined by mercy, and borne by love.
The Good Samaritan

Based on Luke 10:25-37.

There are those who would regulate every aspect of our lives, believing that this is the only way to make ordinary people do the right thing. But as Jesus’s famous parable shows, many things are better left to the instincts of conscience and love.

WHEN Jesus urged his followers to ‘love thy neighbour’, he was quoting directly from Jewish law. However, a lawyer asked ‘Who is my neighbour?’, since Israel was a ferment of Jews and non-Jews living uneasily together under Roman laws.

Once, Jesus replied, two Temple officials found a fellow Jew lying beside the road, beaten, robbed and quite possibly dead.

Health and safety regulations regarding dead bodies took days to sort out, so taking care not to touch him and become ‘unclean’ they hurried on. But a passer-by from Samaria hesitated.

There was bad blood between the Jews of Judaea and those of Samaria: neither regarded the others as real Jews, and their laws forbade any interaction.

Nevertheless, he felt for a pulse. Encouraged, he carried the man to an inn, and paid for his treatment and room.

‘So who was that man’s neighbour?’ Jesus asked. The lawyer’s reply came not from any legal textbook, but from his heart. ‘The one who had mercy upon him.’

Based on Luke 10:25-37.

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