During Christ's ministry, there were three times when Samaritans were prominent. Each of them has many lessons for us today, especially if we keep in mind the background of the Samaritans and how they were despised by the Jews.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) a priest and a Levite did not have enough compassion to help in any way when they saw a man in need, but each of them passed by on the other side. These men who were of God's chosen people surely knew they were to be merciful (Proverbs 3:3). But perhaps they were too busy with observing some religious tradition or with secular activity to spend a little time to bind up wounds, or even to notify someone.
We may neglect to give aid or comfort because we have something we had planned to do that seems more important to us than obeying God's commands to show mercy (Matthew 5:7; Luke 6:36).
The priest and Levite might have been afraid to help one who had been beaten and robbed, for they might suffer the same fate. Often, I fear, we are afraid to become involved in helping others because we fear criticism, or because we do not want to be involved with other people's lives. It does take patience, time, and love to be able to help others in a physical, emotional, or spiritual way.
The second Samaritan is found in the miracle of the healing of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19). The Samaritan who, when he realized he was healed, immediately went to Jesus, glorified God and gave thanks, is an outstanding example of gratitude. Gratitude is so important as we pray, but our prayers may become merely prayers of asking rather than those of thanking. If we do not feel and voice our thankfulness, we can not grow spiritually as we should. Showing gratitude affects our lives in many ways. It is quite important in our relationships with other persons. The more gratitude we show to those who help us, the more our lives will be enriched by our own inner satisfaction and by the response to us by those to whom we have shown gratitude.
The third Samaritan is the woman whom Jesus met at Jacob's well (John 4:1- 26). After she talked with Jesus and was amazed at His knowledge of her life, she went to some men and told them what Jesus had said, and asked, "Could this be the Christ?" She did exactly what we should do. She listened to Jesus and believed what He told her. Then she went to tell others about Him.
These three Samaritans are excellent examples for us as we strive to live for Christ. These three records, specifically pointing out that they were Samaritans, were surely intended to cause us to think about our own intolerance of those who may be different, and whom we may feel are inferior to us.
These three, seen as dogs by the Jews, showed by their acts of compassion, gratitude, and by the eagerness of the woman at the well to tell others of Christ, that they were really superior to many Christians who show little compassion or gratitude, and are unwilling to share Christ's love for us and His plan for our salvation.
Published in The Old Paths Archive