The expert in the law wanted to limit the who in order to justify his practice of caring for only certain people. However, Jesus told the parable to teach us how to love.
What’s interesting is Jesus’s use of irony in the story. The two people you’d expect to help the injured man turned a blind eye (or heart) to his needs.
So, Jesus flips the cultural narrative by having an “other” care for the injured man. He is reminding us all of the Bible’s ethic on love…
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
Proverbs 3:27-28 (NIV)
Each day we get to choose how we respond to our neighbor:
- Will we risk shame for the dignity of those in need?
- Will we honor the King’s character and expectations before those of political or cultural “kings”?
- Will we joyfully sacrifice of our own resources, even when it costs us security and comfort?
- Will we expect nothing in return like the Samaritan?
...we get to mirror the heart of our King.
As followers of Christ, this kind of love is not meant to be a chore or an excruciating experience. It’s liberating, joyful, and worthwhile because we get to mirror the heart of our King.
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