AIM: Our whole lives will be spent in actually putting into practice this Parable. We are to love our neighbors especially those who are most in need. We need to be sensitive to the needs , requirements of others - both materially and emotionally. As kids, we teach the children to recognize situations where they can help in any way they can. We also teach children to care.
This Parable begins by a young man asking Jesus a question, "Teacher, what must I do to have Eternal Life? " , he was asking Jesus what he could do to reach heaven and be with God and the Angels.
Jesus asked the man, "What does God's law tell you to do? "
This man was very well versed with the Scriptures of Jesus's time and had a ready answer.
He said , " Love the Lord your God with all your heart , with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbour as yourself"
Jesus replied, " You are right!! Do this and you will live in Heaven"
This young man was not convinced. He asked Jesus, " Who is my neighbour? "
Jesus decided to answer his next question with a parable.
Once there was a Jewish man who was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. The road to Jerusalem was rocky with small hills all around. It normally took about 1-2 days to walk that distance. Since he was walking that distance he must have had some clothes, food, water and some money or valuables with him.
The man was probably enjoying his solitary walk and enjoying the views. All of a sudden a group of thieves jumped from nowhere and attacked this man. They attacked him and stole all his belongings before running away.
The poor man must have not been prepared for such an ambush and was lying, abandoned on the road - helpless.They not only stole his belongings , they even tore his clothes while hurting him. They made sure he would not be able to follow them by hurting him pretty bad. He was wounded and bleeding as well. The only way he could be saved was if some kind passerby helped him out. He was too weak to move and help himself.
In a little while a priest was passing by the same way. Thank God!! at least now, this Jewish man would get to safety and out of harms way. Well atleast that is what we would expect of him. sadly, the priest just continued to walk by and pretended he did not even see this helpless man!
A little while later, another man passed by. he was a Levite. Levites are people who used to work i God's temple and would sing praises to God. So yes, you could call them good and holy people after a priest.
So maybe the priest earlier was in a big hurry to attend a very important meeting and could not help this poor man, but now a Levite has come!! Good man that he is, surely he will help this poor man stranded helpless on the road!
But he too, saw this man and continued on the other side of the road - as though he did not exist!! How terrible - to be abandoned like that by the people you would have otherwise trusted!
In a little while a Samaritan man was passing by. You see, you must know that Samaritans and Jews were not exactly the best of friends in those days. In fact they did not like each other at all! The Jews used to treat Samaritans quite bad - so they never ever really mingled at all.
I do not expect the Samaritan would help a Jew!! After all, they were enemies! But the strangest thing happened. Humanity took over. The Samaritan saw not a Jew but a human being. He saw a man like him, wounded, hurt , helpless, bleeding and in need of quick help or he might die.
He felt compassion. He stopped. He saw the extent of the hurt and began to bandage the man's wounds. He then kindly lifted this man and put him on his own donkey. He took him to an Inn (it was like what hotels are these days)In the Inn he cared for this Jewish man the whole night.
The next day, he removed sufficient money, about 2 silver coins or 2 dinari and gave it to the Inn keeper. he asked the inn keeper to take good care of him and also promised to pay whatever extra money he might spend afterwards on this man.
Jesus ended his parable by asking, " Which of these three men do you think was a neighbour to the man? "
"The man who took pity on him" , answered the man.
" Go and do the same" answered Jesus.
Likewise, we too must care for others. We must ask Jesus to give us a kind heart and courage to help everyone, friends and others when they need our help. Only then can we be God's friends - and go to heaven.