Sep 16, 2020, 12:37 PM
In the conclusion of the parable, Jesus’ audience must have left with the reaction that the hero of the story was an outsider – not a Jew as both the priest and the Levite. Jesus asked the lawyer “... which of these three men was a neighbour to the one who was attacked by thieves?” No doubt, looking reluctant to mention the despised name Samaritan, the lawyer replied: – “the one who showed him kindness.”
Jesus then told him; “Now you go and do the same.”
Jesus’ story exposed the varying standards at work in the world. The first two passers-by both important and highly influential individuals, turned a blind eye to th wounded neighbour. They had the power to help but never did. They chose to turn away.
At the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus challenged the lawyer and the reader as well to “Go and do likewise!” The lawyer questioned Jesus trying to gain a plain understanding of ‘neighbour’ and came up with a simple command: “Go and do likewise!”
No matter how we look at it, this command requires action. The first part is to ‘go’. We are called to go into our homes, our schools, our offices, our neighbourhoods and our world. The second part is a little more of a challenge. “Do likewise!” Jesus calls each of us to live as the example we see in the Scripture. So as we seek to live up to God’s standards, we find ourselves compelled to a life of action. The Scripture does not say, “Go and speak likewise,” or “Go and think likewise!” It says, “Do likewise!”
The best way we can share God’s good news is not through the words of our mouth, but through the actions of our life.
The parable teaches that God expects us to help people who are in need, irrespective of their nationality, social status or religious beliefs. ‘You go then and do the same.’
Creator God, strengthen and empower your people to ‘Go and do the same.’ Give us the tools we need that we may be your hands and feet on earth. Amen.
Complementary to THE GOOD SAMARITAN
God made everyone of us good; He made us in His image and if He is good so are we. Our Lord Jesus wanted to drive a point home to His audience when He told this parable. One thing we need to know though is that there was a time when Jesus was telling plain, simple stories until he observed that the Pharisees and Sadducees were following Him, looking for some pretext to fault Him. He then changed His style and started speaking in parables. He would afterwards, when He was alone with His disciples expound on the meanings or its interpretation.
This parable is entitled the ‘Good Samaritan,’ which implies that there are bad ones. In fact, all of the Samaritans were considered traitors for ‘flirting’ with the colonisers [the Romans] at the expense of their kind. They were accused of siding with the enemy and were therefore considered ‘sell-outs’. By singling out this good Samaritan, Jesus was telling His audience that not all of them were bad; that they should not all be put in the same basket or labelled the same.
This Samaritan went the extra mile doing what a so-called Jew who was considered good could not do. And besides the examples of comportment by those who were considered good, did not match up. The priest and the Levite were supposed to have known better. They should not have practised segregation or discrimination by virtue of the offices they held in the community.
Well, not all the leaders who hold positions of trust conduct themselves in the manner and with the integrity expected of them. Most of them lack the calibre which an ordinary despised Samaritan was not expected to display. It is where we least expect it that excellence, compassion and probity can be showcased. What then was Jesus trying to convey? It is not the office we hold that matters, it is the nature and quality of our hearts; they govern our actions.
Apostle Paul writing to the Philippians urged his audience to carry themselves thus: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about those things.” (Philippians 4:8) When we think of such things and put them into practice we end up becoming them. We become the standard and the envy of many.
Our Lord recommends this kind of behaviour not only to our kith and kin but also to strangers and even our enemies. The message is equally addressed to us: ‘Go and do likewise’.