What Does the Story of The Good Samaritan Mean Today?

What Does the Story of The Good Samaritan Mean Today?

In Luke chapter 10 an expert in Jewish law, or lawyer, tested Jesus by asking the age old question: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus, most likely understanding the trap being set, turned the question around on him, asking him what he already believed. The lawyer responded “Love God with all your heart and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’”. Likely nodding in a guarded way, Jesus responded, that he was correct. But as often occurs with an attorney, that wasn’t the full question, the lawyer wanted to know “who is my neighbor?”

In a classic legalistic maneuver, 모바일홀덤 the questioner was looking for loopholes, but Jesus being wise to this, told a story upending popular notions of good and bad by telling the story now popularly known as “The Good Samaritan.”

In the time of Jesus the Samaritans were reviled by the general residents of Jerusalem because they were a different sect of Judaism. Although from the same Abrahamic origin, their beliefs were different enough that the Jews of Jerusalem felt justified in deriding them as false believers in God, much like Muslims are reviled by fundamentalist Christians in America today.

Jesus used this enmity between to illustrate the point that the true disciple of God did not use distinctions of religion or ethnicity to discriminate in who could be the recipient of generosity.

There are a couple different lines of thinking about the story. Some people follow the Augustinian line of thought that the story is an allegory of Jesus condescending to help the sinners of mankind. Others like Calvin taught that it is really just a moral story, expanding the concept of neighborly kindness to those who we may not even know. The non allegorists think it is teaching us to be kind and helpful to all mankind and not just those we identify with.

In America today, most of us are neither Jews nor Samaritans, so it is helpful to change the players a bit and see how we can apply the story to our lives, whether we believe it to be allegory or moral story.

After September 11, 2011 Muslims have become our modern day Samaritans. They come from an Abrahamic religion that reveres many of the same prophets as Christianity and Judaism, yet because of the actions of a few radicals perverted by those who have political motivations to destroy America, Muslims are often excoriated as evil by the less informed in America today.


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