5 Lessons Learned from the Parable of the Good Samaritan

4798England's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once observed, "No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions - he had money too." Of course the Good Samaritan was not an actual historical figure; he was a fictional man in a story that Jesus told to a religious legalist who was trying to justify his unwillingness to walk the walk. The story goes like this:
A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits.They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them.Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, 'Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I'll pay you the next time I'm here.'  "Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?" Jesus asked. The man replied, "The one who showed him mercy." Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same."  Luke 10:30-37 NLT

Lessons from the Good Samaritan Story

1. He was willing to get involved.

We may quote scripture and recite platitudes on love and God, but unless we are willing to get involved in the lives of others, we are only blowing smoke. The Samaritan treated and bandaged the wounds. He set the injured man on his donkey. He took him to an inn and cared for him throughout the night. The Samaritan could have said to himself, "I give regularly to my church.  I donate to the Salvation Army every Christmas. I have done my part." But he didn't. As the scriptures say, he had compassion...and he acted on it.

2. He ignored racism.

Even though he was considered a "despised Samaritan," he rose above such shallowness to care for a fellow human being. I compare the Samaritan's actions to an American 19th century slave showing compassion to a plantation owner or a Jewish prisoner demonstrating concern for a Nazi guard during WWII.


Source: Crosswalk.com

Joe Plemon started Plemon Financial Coaching in 2006. He has been the Money Columnist for the Southern Illinoisan newspaper (circulation 30,000) since October, 2007 and blogs at Personal Finance by the Book.

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