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The Good Samaritan isn’t the only parable I covered in my class, and I really do plan to blog on the others.  But it was this particular parable that I found myself contemplating over the weekend.

The  setting?  A family dinner at my house.  As I got the house ready, I mentally monologged.  Why should I be the one to make family dinner? We’re tearing out and replacing a bathroom, we’d be spending all morning at church, we just finished a busy swim season and we redecorated a bedroom and have things scattered all over the house.  Why me?  I’m not the only capable person.

Then I thought about the Samaritan.  Why him?  He wasn’t the only one would could have helped.

The first one on the scene was the priest, but he had some pretty solid reasons to ignore the man and ride on by.

To do  their jobs, priests had to stay ritually clean which means no contact with dead bodies.  To get close enough to see if the man was still alive, the priest would be risking contamination.  Purification meant a full week of expensive sacrifices and rituals and he can’t do his job until that week is over.  That means no income including his share of the food sacrifices.  These sacrifices would be a large part of what fed his family and his servants.  All of these people would suffer for at least a full week if the man on the road was dead.

See?  Lots of good reasons to keep on riding.

Then  along came the Levite.  Levites assisted the priests.  If the boss rides by, it’s ok for the Levite to do the same thing.  Isn’t it?

But what about the Samaritan?  He had plenty to worry about too. Remember “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”?  If the Samaritan tried to help and the man died, his family would probably take revenge on the Samaritan.  After all, wasn’t he the last person seen with the victim?  The Samaritan could take shelter in a city of refuge, but his family would still be at risk, because the victim’s family could seek revenge against a son, brother or nephew.

Still, the Samaritan helped.  And he wasn’t just an anonymous helper on the side of the road.  He took the victim to an inn, spoke to the innkeeper and sacrificed his anonymity.

The Samaritan risked it all.  He didn’t say, “Why me?”  In fact, I can hear him saying, “Lord, here I am, Your servant.”

How  often do we talk ourselves out of serving God instead of looking up and saying, “Here I am, Lord”?



Have a Mary Little Christmas

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