A good Samaritan story
May 7, 2006 Leave a comment
The 'Good Samaritan' is a phrase that gets interjected into the one or two positive stories that are shown on your evening news. Do the majority of people know where the terminology comes from? Most know that it's a biblical thing (Luke 10.30-37) but what of the story behind it? or that before Jesus told the story, the words 'good' and 'Samaritan' together made as much sense as 'jumbo shrimp' or 'virtual reality' or 'pretty ugly' and my personal favorite, 'government organization' but I digress…
[With the help of a good friend, I've slowly come around to the idea that 'story' is a powerful tool when trying to convey information in an effective manner. I'll leave the reasons to the experts in literary devices.]
The story of the good Samaritan is actually a response given by Jesus to a series of probing questions by a religious scholar of the day. Most know the story and thus I won't devote further words to the main thrust of it. However, one facet of the story really jumps out at me, and that is the racism angle of it all.
The way that Jesus (by the way, a Master storyteller) informs us (through the story) that we are to love our neighbor and at the same time (by having a Samaritan help a Jew)teach us that our neighbor includes those groups who we disagree with or just completely dislike is simply brilliant, simply challenging, simply logical and thus simply Jesus (yeah I'm sorry for the run-on.)
So, whether it'd be Democrat v. Republican, Conservative v. Liberal, Black v. White, Chinese v. Japanese we are told (thru the story) that it doesn't matter, we must love one another regardless of our differences (perceived or otherwise).