“And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.’ But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, 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, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.’” Luke 10:25-37
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a wonderful lesson about how we should treat our neighbors. What I really love when I read this parable are the actions of the Samaritan.
First, the Samaritan sees the man. Love begins with looking and noticing other people’s need. God does this in the Old Testament when He told Moses, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people.” (Ex. 3:7). Similarly in the gospel of Matthew when a woman touches the edge of Jesus’ garment in a crowd, the passage says, “Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said. ‘Your faith has healed you.’” (Matthew 9:22).
Second, the Samaritan shows compassion and takes pity on the man. Having compassion is what then leads to action. Jesus models this many times in the Bible. For example, in Matthew 14 it says, “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” If the Samaritan hadn’t taken pity on the man, he would not have done anything to help him.
Third, the Samaritan takes action. And he didn’t just bandage the man or give him money and go about his way. The Samaritan did everything he could to show love to this man. The Samaritan stopped his journey completely and gave this man who was naked and harmed all that he could. Like it says in Luke 6, “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.”
The Samaritan showed such great love for this man and did not expect anything in return. I encourage you to read this parable often and remember how we are to see other people, have compassion and take action to show them love.