Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Good Samaritan Priest
Luke 10:25-37

Dr. V. T. Samuel
Trinity Mar Thoma Church, Houston.

37. He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

The “Good Samaritan” parable has been retold and sermonized all over the world thousands of time.  It has been suggested that the Priest and the Levi were totally focused on the prescribed duties in the temple and religious sphere following the scriptures and traditions and could not deviate from it because their primary focus was on serving the people. They had a commitment to their tasks which is time sensitive  and law bound.  Only the Samaritan traveler paid attention to the fallen, and forgot the man made social boundaries of service through the life-saving measures which he had access to:  transportation, monetary resources, and the knowledge about the whereabouts of care-giving rest house.

We are familiar with the proverb that “a friend indeed is a friend in deed”. It is possible that the healed victim could have searched for the whereabouts of his benefactor and was ever grateful for his time sensitive life-saving activities

Who are we to judge the first two passersby?  Jesus did not condemn but used a story to illustrate the simple point to highlight the second commandment in His abbreviation of the 10 commandments found in Old Testament: the first being “Love God” and the second being “love your neighbor as thyself”.  Sometimes, we consider ourselves more religious and duty bound than those who are engaged in the institutional obligations in the mission of Jesus Christ.  We need not generalize and condemn others who have religious responsibilities and justify our actions of “do nothing” by criticizing others.

A few days ago there was a television report of a bleeding painter in New York City who was mauled by two ferocious neighborhood dogs.  He was saved by a couple of persons in the neighborhood. Conspicuous in the picture was a priest with nothing but his long pants on.  As soon as the priest became aware of the predicament of the restoration artist he ran to the victim in distress and gave him the last rite.  When the artist became conscious and recognized the priest, he told him that his prayer took the “heck out of me”!

The presence of this Priest and his consolation during the traumatic experience tell us that there are not only the Samaritans (ordinary people) but also examples of multitudes of others involved in religious vocations and ordinary lay persons who extend the “helping hands” in the world.



God of grace and love, help us along with multitudes of your children to get involved in the healing and saving activity in the world. Amen

Not everyone is your brother or sister in faith, but everyone is your neighbour, and you must love your neighbour.”
Timothy Keller, Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just      

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