But the legal expert wanted to prove that he was right, so he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied, “A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He encountered thieves, who stripped him naked, beat him up, and left him near death. Now it just so happened that a priest was also going down the same road. When he saw the injured man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. Likewise, a Levite came by that spot, saw the injured man, and crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’ What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?”
Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
This week we heard several versions of the parable of the Good Samaritan. In God’s kingdom, “neighbor” is not defined proximity or by affinity but by the capacity to show mercy. [hear sermon audio]
This week, take some time to go deeper. Talk with God about how this story challenges you to grow as a disciple. Read and reflect on these scriptures and questions.
Texts to read:
- John 13:31-35, 14:15-21
- 1 Kings 178-24 (Elijah stays with a Phoenician widow)
Questions to ponder:
- Who could be your modern day Samaritan?
- What would it mean to accept their help?
- Our country is currently wrestling with divisions over politics, race, and faith. How do you read this story differently than in the past?
Do and share:
- Go out of your way this week to offer mercy to someone you don’t know. Do it without any recognition.
- Check out this story of two Good Samaritans from the concert bombing in Manchester, England. Share another story from the news or your own life on our Facebook or to @dpumc on Twitter. #jesusstory