Luke 10:33-37: "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' 36 ‘So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?’ 37 And he said, ‘He who showed mercy on him.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’"
A certain lawyer tried to test Jesus with a question about eternal life. Jesus asked him a question about the law that he knew about well. In this discourse, the lawyer pressed Jesus about wanting to know about who one’s neighbor was. Jesus proceeds to tell a story about a man traveling from Jerusalem who had a run in with some robbers who beat him and left him for dead. As the man lie there in his painful and bloody state, two men walked by one a priest and the other a Levite. Both walked by the man and did nothing. However, a man from Samaria saw the Jewish man in all his troubles, and he had compassion on the man and tended his wounds, and made sure before he set out on his own way that this man would be taking care of.
Being a neighbor is so much more then geography. Jesus told this story to illustrate the point that a true neighbor is not concerned about our own limitations and definitions. We should be concerned with same things with which God is concerned. We must break down the walls that we place around our hearts that limits us. Our presuppositions and prejudices keep us from reaching our full potential in Christ. Samaritans and Jews hated each other. The Jews thought the Samaritans were lesser people. However, in this story the Samaritan and not the Jew, stopped to this man and had compassion on him. The Samaritan knew the meaning of neighbor.
As Christ followers, we must look past our own needs and put the needs of others before our selves. In this story, Jesus said, the man had to stoop down and tend his wounds. We as Christians must be willing to “stoop” down to people we see along our way. Sometimes that means we need to tend the wounds of someone that is labeled undesirable by this world. When we truly do this we may get dirty, grimy, and even be uncomfortable. However, Jesus did not call us into a comfortable lifestyle.
Old Testament: Judges 20-21 New Testament Luke 11:1-28