But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (Luke 10:33-34)
Pastor John’s Notes:
The Jews hated the Samaritans and had no dealings with them. In 605 B.C., the Jewish nation was taken captive by the Babylonian empire in judgment by God for their idolatries. They remained in Babylon for 70 years until the Persian king Cyrus allowed them to return. While most of the nation had been carried away to be slaves in Babylon, some were allowed to remain in Judea. These few moved north to the region of Samaria and intermarried with the other nations around them. When the Jews returned after 70 years to rebuild Jerusalem, they disdained the Samaritans and from that time forward had no dealings with them. Even though Samaria lay right between Judea and Jerusalem in the south and their largest Jewish colony of Galilee in the north, rather than traveling through Samaria, the Jews took a longer route along the Jordan River to avoid interacting with any Samaritans.
In the story Jesus told, the hero is a Samaritan, who through a simple act of kindness, human to human, demonstrated a greater love than that of the priest and Levite. The point is simple. God wants us to look beyond human-generated categories and love one another regardless.
Lord, teach me to love others as you love them. Convict me of any prejudice that might be hindering me. Help me to put my faith into action and care for the needs of those around me.