Parable of the Good Samaratin // The Parables of Jesus

One of the most famous parables Jesus ever told is commonly known as "The Parable of the Good Samaritan." It is a parable so widely shared that our country has "Samaritan laws" some 2,000 years after Jesus originally told this story. While most people in our culture may be familiar with the story, it's the context surrounding this famous parable that actually helps us understand what exactly Jesus is trying to say. In the period right before Jesus tells this story, he and his disciples have numerous encounters with Samaritans because they are traveling through the region. Relations between Jews and Samaritans were tense and often even hostile for a lot of reasons, some of which included racial prejudices and religious differences. In Luke 10, Jesus sends out 72 of his disciples into Samaria and they see a positive response to the Gospel from the Samaritans. This undoubtedly caused a stir and had many questioning the legitimacy of Jesus. One of the skeptics was a religious expert who approached Jesus to test his theology. In the midst of what he thought would be an examination of Jesus, the religious expert finds himself on trial and his prejudices exposed by Jesus. In this shocking story of what it means to be a "neighbor," Jesus says that we are called to care for all that we come in contact with, even those who we would consider to be our enemies.