In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus tells the story of a man receiving aid from his cultural enemy after falling among thieves.
The parable of the Good Samaritan reveals the true meaning of being a good neighbor and teaches us how to be a good friend to those who are suffering all around us.
First, this story is about criminal inhumanity.
“‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead’…” (Luke 10:30).
The traveler in this story is a picture of humanity going away from God, battered and robbed by the devil. We live in a hurting world of crushed hearts, bruised spirits, and emotional wounds. People need love; they need the relief of a friend who will care for their hurts.
This story also reveals casual indifference.
In Luke 10:31-32, two self-righteous men, a priest, and a Levite, pass by the wounded man. These men represent people who follow the rituals and rules of religion but do not have Jesus Christ. Jesus is teaching through this story that religion with its rituals and rules cannot save… only He can.
Good Samaritan shows us that loving our neighbor means showing compassionate involvement.
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion” (Luke 10:33).
This compassion must be genuine and gracious; we don’t just wait until hurting people come to us; we go to them.
Adrian Rogers says, “A person who has compassion sees people through the eyes of Christ.”
This compassion is also gentle: “So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” (Luke 10:34).
In the Bible, oil is an emblem of the Holy Spirit, and wine is symbolic of the blood of Jesus Christ. Oil soothes and wine cleanses.
As we have been cared for by Jesus Christ—who takes our place, carries us where we cannot go ourselves, and binds our wounds—we should care for others.
There are so many around us walking around with unseen wounds. We must see them with compassion. Commit to sharing the love of Jesus today and be a good friend to someone in need.