Did The Story of the Good Samaritan Only Apply To Jesus’ Generation?

(Did The Story of the Good Samaritan Only Apply To Jesus’ Generation?) Bible Question

Question:

“My friends (in a discussion about the story of the good Samaritan) say it is far too dangerous to help someone like that today. Did Jesus teach this story only for His generation?”

Answer:

“An expert in the Law of Moses stood up and asked Jesus a question to see what he would say. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to have eternal life?”

Jesus answered, “What is written in the Scriptures? How do you understand them?”

The man replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.’ They also say, ‘Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.’”

Jesus said, “You have given the right answer. If you do this, you will have eternal life.”

But the man wanted to show that he knew what he was talking about. So he asked Jesus, “Who are my neighbors?”

Jesus replied:

As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers attacked him and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead.

A priest happened to be going down the same road. But when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. Later a temple helpercame to the same place. But when he saw the man who had been beaten up, he also went by on the other side.

A man from Samaria then came traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he felt sorry for him and went over to him. He treated his wounds with olive oil and wineand bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next morning he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and said, “Please take care of the man. If you spend more than this on him, I will pay you when I return.”

Then Jesus asked, “Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?”

The teacher answered, “The one who showed pity.”

Jesus said, “Go and do the same!”

– Luke 10:25 – 37 (Contemporary English Version)

Too dangerous to practice this today? It was dangerous then! So dangerous that the Priest and the Levite passed by on the other side. But the Samaritan helped the man who had been beaten and robbed. It is not likely that he took no thought that the robbers might still be hanging around. I think he knew the danger. But he helped the beaten man anyway.

We live in a dangerous world. More than anyone, Jesus knows (and knew) about the dangers every person is confronted with at any given time. If you are faced with a person in such need today as that Samaritan, you can be assured that danger lurks nearby. Whatever our response (however we help), we should love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.

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