Christians are called to care for others, especially for those most in need. Jesus explains this very clearly in a parable he told. A parable is a story which conveys an important meaning or more than one meaning. In this story from Luke’s Gospel, a lawyer was trying to catch Jesus out with questions. The final one was, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ Jesus answers this with a story, but the story also has another meaning. It shows the care and compassion with which we should treat each other. Notice the care and concern the Samaritan showed to the man who had been mugged.
A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half-dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.”
“Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Based on Luke 10: 30-37
- Why do you think the Samaritan acted as he did?
- How do you think the man who was mugged felt?
- What showed that the Samaritan was doing more than his mere duty towards another person?
- What does this parable have to say to us today?
- What do you think ‘mercy’ means?