Parable of the Good Samaritan

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In Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus tells a powerful story about a traveler who is assaulted by thieves and left for dead. Two people his listeners would hold in high esteem walk past the victim without helping, while a person his listeners would despise from Samaria saves the victim's live with charity that included helping the victim, bringing him to an inn to be cared for, and promising the inn-keeper that his expenses will be reimbursed. This is an inspiring story for all, and illustrates the best of the public.

This parable is in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 10:30-37), as many other beautiful accounts (such as the encounter on the road to Emmaus) are located in that same elegantly written Gospel. The authenticity of this parable is widely recognized, even by non-believers, and is reinforced by the heroic role played by the Samaritan, which no one but Jesus would have done in that community. Unlike Shakespeare's plays that were inspired by prior works, this parable is entirely unique to the New Testament.

Famous artists, from Rembrandt to Van Gogh, did paintings of this parable. The American Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse takes its name from this parable.


The Good Samaritan may represent the Christian. Even when religious leaders, like the priest or Levite who passed by the hurt man, while not acknowledging a soul in despair, the Christian will. He rescues the heathen man from death on the side of the road. The Jews hated the Samaritans; they were half-breeds, a mix of Jews and Gentiles. This makes the irony greater that the Jew, robbed and beaten, was aided by a Samaritan, much like the Christians today are persecuted by God-denying heathens.

The Good Samaritan may represent Jesus Christ, who saves the should on the road to destruction, putting him on the right path. The Jew had been travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho, which is a road downhill, from the city of God to the cursed city, originally belonging to the Canaanites. The interpretation is that the man is on his way to hell, and along the dangerous road he is attacked. The Lord rescues him from sin, curing his wounds with oil, carrying him "on his own beast. Luke 10:34" Jesus brings him to the inn, which represents the church, and provides the saints there with the resources ("two pence" Luke 10:35) to nurse him back to health. The Samaritan sayes "Take care of him; and whatesoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee." In the same way, Jesus will come again and reward his church for tending to lost souls.