Luke 10:30-37, the background to this parable is that an expert in law wanted to test Jesus. The expert asked what should I do to get eternal life? The Lord answered, 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”. To this the law expert replied, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” When the expert asked Jesus, Who is my neighbor? The Lord narrated this parable.
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
We can observe three things here:
What will I get: In today’s world, be it in family or society, this is the first thought that comes to a majority of people’s mind. Here too we see the same thinking. The robbers attacked the man, robbed him of his belongings, beat him and went away. Their aim was to only acquire whatever the man possessed. They did not spare a thought to what would happen and what happened to the man after they beat him up. Even if others die, what is it to me, my purpose should be fulfilled. For this, at times people can stoop down to the lowest level.
What will happen to me: This group thinks about what will happen to me if I do this?.this thought prevents them from doing things which matter. The priest and the Levite fall to this category. They must be having several explanations to their actions. Eg: On the way to worship, if I stop on the way, I won;t be able to reach the worship place on time. If the man is dead I would become impure, and I would have to do cleansing for that to be able to worship again. On the way from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbery was a normal affair. If he is pretending to be wounded, then his purpose is to rob and then I would get hurt and might even die. They did not have time to waste for the man. They had definite destinations to reach.
What can I do: There is a common streak of nature in all humans. They think what can I do for those in my family, society, and those in need. The Samaritan too was on some purpose when travelling to Jericho from Jerusalem. The above two thoughts did not bother him. He felt sympathy for the wounded man and gave him first aid. He led him to an inn and paid the innkeeper to look after him and also told to pay for the extra expenses if incurred. The Samaritan does not lament about the time or money spent on the wounded man. He spend time and money for the man on the road he barely knew, and saved a life.
When Jesus finished narrating he asked, 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Let us conclude, what will I get?? what will happen to me?? what can I do??. Let us ask these questions. Where do we stand in these three questions?? In families and at workplaces today, it is a very common question: What good does it hold for me?? Instead of this we should all ask ourselves what can I do here? Everyone desires peace, joy and contentment. We also desire to do good. But what stops us from putting the thought to action???Fame, popularity, applause, wealth, the pursuit of these sees no time constraint or money issues. Why do we feel contempt or disdain for the poor in dirty clothes, a leper and those who are helpless?? It would be so good if we could replace contempt with the thought that what can I do that would help/better the situation?
If we could spare a minute and think if our loved ones or friends were in their position and everyone thinks like I do, then how would the world function?? Today’s wealth and health can be gone in the blink of an eye. Let us remember the Lord’s word. We should also what the Samaritan did for the stranger. Every journey begins with the first step. Let us all step forward towards it.