The Generous Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37)

“But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 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” (Luke 10:29-37, NKJV).

Google “good Samaritan” and you will not only find references to this biblical account in Luke but to numerous news articles, charities, and organizations using this moniker. The original Samaritan’s kindness and mercy is contrasted, by Jesus, with the careless neglect of the “priest” and “Levite” (people who should have known better). The Samaritan could have used any number of excuses to avoid helping the wounded traveler and evade responsibility. Yet, the Samaritan neglected neglect and helped anyway. Consider the simple gifts of the Samaritan which serve as a template for us even today.

He first felt the tugging of his compassion to a man in need and gave his heart.

He used his own strength to lift him onto his animal as he walked alongside.

He was willing to give food to help hydrate and medicate the weakened man.

He also offered up his animal, his transportation, to one who was too weak.

He gave of his money—two day’s wages--so he could receive lodging and care.

He gave of his time. He alters his course and delays his plans to see to this need.

He may have given his clothes—the man was naked and needed bandages.

These are all simple gifts. They did not require an organization or charity application-- just the love of a generous Samaritan. Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.”