Luke 10:25-37 NRSVue
25An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself.” 28And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
29But wanting to vindicate himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and took off, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan while traveling came upon him, and when he saw him he was moved with compassion. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, treating them with oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him, and when I come back I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Probably the best story ever written! Because we know it so well, we may gloss over it. It challenges us on many levels: the inclusiveness of everyone as our neighbour; the way religious people can pass by human needs and the most rejected people can respond positively; the way we try to appear experts, like the lawyer. It is a story of not missing human violence and abuse under our noses, a reminder that many suffer because of the cruelty of others. It’s mainly a story to ask us to respond as positively as we can to all human need.
It has been called the best story and best remembered story ever told! Let it hit you anew in prayer. Ask: what makes me go to the other side? What makes me avoid some type of people in need? Who might they be? I pray that I may identify any blocks in myself which cause me to ignore or belittle others' needs. All people are crying with the cry of Jesus. That is what I want to respond to.