Sharing my personal devotion.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he 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.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
We all have that question. How to get to eternal life? Like the lawyer, most of us know that we “need to justify our entrance to heaven through good works or helping others. Do you think Jesus is telling us more than helping and doing the good works? Who is our neighbor? Who is the good Samaritan? How can you enter heaven?
Who are the characters in the parable?
The traveling man, the robbers, the priest and Levite, the Samaritan, The Inn Keeper.
• The story's setting is in Jericho. People in those days needed to travel this path to Jerusalem and travel the same out of Jerusalem, usually to worship or just finish a feast. Mostly, people, then, would be traveling in groups to protect each other and scare the robbers. However, the person in the story travels alone, making him susceptible to the robbers. In ancient times, they did not have credit cards; instead, they had purses and camels. They need to bring as much as they can to sustain the travel. There were some challenges aside from the arid and dusty road; robbers were also rampant; not only did they steal, but they meant harm, too.
30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.
We are all on a journey of life. In our journey, there are enemies that will steal, kill, and destroy. Like the robbers in the story. We must be together as a family as a Pac to avoid these misfortunes. Yes, there will be times when you need to travel alone but you do not need to.
• The priest and Levite were religious individuals who belonged to the temple or church. They were familiar with the scripture but may not have grasped the true essence of God's heart. Being religious or attending church does not necessarily indicate being close to God. During their time, only people from a specific tribe, the Levites, could become priests. They were born into a religious family and grew up in the church, like some of us. However, they, too, needed to understand the true heart of God. Clearly, reading this parable shows that they did not fully comprehend God's heart.
31 Now, by chance, a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
• The term "Samaritan" today refers to a good person, but in the past, Samaritans were outcasts. They were considered "half-breeds" because they were a mix of Jewish and Gentile ancestry and were often described as "bastards.” Jews and Samaritans had an intense hatred towards each other, to the point where they avoided mingling or talking with each other. Being seen together was considered ungodly and unclean.
33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’
In the story of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan helped a stranger who was injured, even though traditionally the injured person would be considered dead and touching them would make you unclean. The Samaritan tore his clothes to bandage the stranger's wounds and used oil and wine to help him heal. Instead of riding his own animal, the Samaritan had the stranger ride it for comfort. He paid for the stranger's medical care and promised to come back and pay even more to the person who had helped the stranger.
• Who is the good Samaritan? It's a big reveal, obvious but not so obvious. Let's skip the details and the parallel of the story in Jesus. Jesus is the good Samaritan. "Who has ears let him hear".
• Jesus, like the Samaritan, was hated by the Jews because his father was unknown, which we now know is God the Father. Just like the Samaritan stripped his clothing to bind the wounds of the man, Jesus was stripped of his clothes so that the wounds inflicted by the enemy and the challenges we face in life could be healed. Just like the Samaritan poured oil and wine on the man who was beaten up, Jesus poured out his blood on the cross so that we could have life. Just like the Samaritan left his comfort of travel with his animal, Jesus left his throne as God to become human, so he could relate to our sufferings and offer us comfort to carry on living.
• "Like the man who was beaten up, we may feel like we deserve to die and be left alone. But many times, we choose to isolate ourselves, even though we are not meant to be alone. We are meant to be with a family, the family of God.
Finally, just as the Samaritan promised to return and bring rewards to the innkeeper, Jesus also promised to return and bring his rewards."Who is the good Samaritan? Jesus.
• Being religious or having knowledge of the law cannot guarantee our entry into heaven. Only Jesus can save us and bring us to heaven. It is not based on our own actions or good deeds, but rather on our faith in Him. Therefore, we should not ask ourselves "what can I do?" but rather "who can make me enter heaven?"
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”
We acknowledge that we do not know the way to heaven, but You do. You are the author of life and know everything. We recognize that on this journey of life, we face many obstacles, and our stubborn hearts often leave us feeling alone. We ask that You guide us towards people who we can travel with safely, friends and colleagues who focus on Your son Jesus, who is the way to heaven.
Please help us to understand that true religiosity is not about good works, but rather about focusing on the mercy of Your love. We ask that You keep us focused on doing Your works with the right motives in our hearts, and help us to remember that it is You alone who justifies us, not our works.
We acknowledge that we are not perfect, and we ask for Your forgiveness for our sins and transgressions. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of our lives, and we ask for Your continued guidance and blessings on our journey.