The Good Samaritan

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

The story of “The Good Samaritan” in the Bible has been a lifelong favourite of mine, with its heartwarming message implanted through the years.

Who is the good Samaritan? He is a person who voluntary and without any strings attached, offers help or sympathy in times of trouble. The truth is I don't really intend to delve into the religious significance of the parable, rather, on the good Samaritan’s act of kindness, for we don’t even have to be a Christian or religious to realize the implications and the meaning of kindness.

This famous parable in the Bible appears in the Gospel of St. Luke.  It is about a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.
Without mentioning earlier passers by who simply passed the victim, a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He bandaged his wounds, poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out money to pay the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.'

Sometimes we are aware that someone needs our help, an elderly crossing down the street, simple favour from a friend or a neighbour, and others whose needs we can help. But more often, we turn a deaf ear and are indifferent, and only act when we or our immediate family members are directly enmeshed in some kind of trouble.

Other times we take for granted the kind things that people have done for us. Can we remember when we got sick and our neighbour offered to buy medicine, or when our car stalled on our way home from work, so that a friend, out of her way, picked up the kids from school? In community affairs, immediately comes to mind all the fire fighters who risk their lives in the line of duty. It’s not just work to them, but a human devotion.

We live in a fast-paced world and it appears that kindness or compassion has become a lost and forgotten human act. We have become so busy thinking only about our needs, desires, and other wants that we seem to have forgotten about others. We have forgotten to care.

But all is not lost. The spirit of compassion was rekindled immensely not only in the USA but around the world during the Sept 11 bombings by terrorists in New York City. There have been numerous other tragic events after where acts of kindness have been shown in many ways.

Please reflect with me the significance of the good Samaritan, and the importance of being kind. Just a friendly ‘hello’ or a smile can make another person’s day. Maybe, the next time we are on the road and someone is trying to get over into our lane, we can slow down and let them over. Many problems in our lives are caused by selfishness.

When we treat other people with kindness, including strangers, they will feel good. We will too.

Note:  Originally published 05/02/06 in

Image Credit:

"Parable of the Good Samaritan" by Jan Wijnants / Hermitage Museum. Accessed April 13, 2013. 

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