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"The Parable of the Good Samaritan tells the story of a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, and while on the way he is robbed of everything he had, including his clothing, and is beaten to within an inch of his life. That road was treacherously winding and was a favorite hideout of robbers and thieves. The next character introduced into the story is a priest. No time is spent describing the priest and only of how he showed no love or compassion for the man by failing to help him and passing on the other side of the road so as not to get involved. If there was anyone who would have known God’s law of love, it would have been the priest. By nature of his position, he was to be a person of compassion, desiring to help others. Unfortunately, “love” was not a word for him that required action on the behalf of someone else. The next person to pass by in the Parable of the Good Samaritan is a Levite, and he does exactly what the priest did: he passes by without showing any compassion. Again, he would have known the law, but he also failed to show the injured man compassion. The next person to come by is the Samaritan, the one least likely to have shown compassion for the man. Samaritans were considered a low class of people by the Jews since they had intermarried with non-Jews and did not keep all the law. Therefore, Jews would have nothing to do with them. We do not know if the injured man was a Jew or Gentile, but it made no difference to the Samaritan; he did not consider the man’s race or religion. The “Good Samaritan” saw only a person in dire need of assistance, and assist him he did, above and beyond the minimum required. He dresses the man’s wounds with wine (to disinfect) and oil (to sooth the pain). He puts the man on his animal and takes him to an inn for a time of healing and pays the innkeeper with his own money. He then goes beyond common decency and tells the innkeeper to take good care of the man, and he would pay for any extra expenses on his return trip. The Samaritan saw his neighbor as anyone who was in need. By ending the encounter in this manner,we are being told to follow the Samaritan’s example in our own conduct; i.e., we are to show compassion and love for those we encounter in our everyday activities. We are to love others regardless of their race or religion; the criterion is need. If they need and we have the supply, then we are to give generously and freely, without expectation of return. Sometimes this appears to be an impossible obligation . We cannot always keep the law because of our human condition; our heart and desires are mostly of self and selfishness. When left to our own, we sometimes do the wrong thing, failing to meet the law. the lessons of the Parable of the Good Samaritan are three-fold:

(1) We are to set aside our prejudice and show love and compassion for others.

(2) Our neighbor is anyone we encounter; we are all creatures of the creator and we are to love all of mankind as we have been taught.

(3) Keeping the law in its entirety with the intent to save ourselves is an impossible task. We need a higher authority. Seek this higher authority."

Finally get to KNOW your neighbours. No not the ones next door. The ones who go to bed hungry most nights, the ones so weary with worry, the ones who who would rather eat sand than put their hand out because of their pride . The ones who will be forced to lower their gaze because they can not look you in the eye such is their shame for finding themselves in this predicament and accepting hand outs . The ones who have lost hope. Dont walk by... STOP... and if you can HELP!

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