The story of the Good Samaritan is so well known that the phrase has come to describe anyone who shows remarkable kindness. Many people can recall a Sunday School felt board illustrating the Samaritan and his donkey shuffling along the Jericho road. Over the centuries of re-telling and re-reading, the tone of the story has become mild, even sweet. But as you read this passage today, try to imagine the original setting—the first time the story was heard.
Jesus is confronted by an expert on God’s law (what Christians call the Old Testament). This lawyer asks Jesus a question intended to stump the controversial teacher: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25 ESV). Jesus’s response and the parable that follows cut to the heart of the lawyer’s presumption—and to the heart of our comfortable understanding of our role as Jesus’s followers.
As you read, look for how Jesus reframes the lawyer’s famous question, “Who is my neighbor?”
Lord Jesus, your Spirit has brought me to this reading plan. Please open my eyes to see what you want to teach me from your Word.
Pause before reading this Scripture. Try to approach the familiar passage as if you were reading it for the first time.
What does Jesus ask the man at the end of the story?
Why does the lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbor?” fall flat? What does this passage ask of you today?
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