What Has Gone Before:
And after a time the seventy men came again to Jesus, saying, "Lord, even the evil spirits obey our words in thy name!" And Jesus said to them, "I saw Satan, the king of the evil spirits, falling down like lightning from heaven. I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions; and nothing shall harm you. Still, do not rejoice because the evil spirits obey you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." And at that time, one of the scribes,?men who wrote copies of the books of the Old Testament, and studied them, and taught them,?came to Jesus and asked him a question, to see what answer he would give. He said, "Master, what shall I do to have everlasting life?"
Jesus said to the scribe, "What is written in the law? You are a reader of God's law; tell me what it says?" Then the man gave this answer, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Jesus said to the man, "You have answered right; do this, and you shall have everlasting life."
But the man was not satisfied. He asked another question, "And who is my neighbor?"
To answer this question, Jesus gave the parable or story of "The Good Samaritan."...
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Good Samaritan by Jacopo Bassano, c1562
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But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ?And who is my neighbor??
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He said, "A certain man was going down the lonely road from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, who stripped him of all that he had, and beat him; and then went away, leaving him almost dead.
|It happened that a certain priest was going down that road; and when he saw the man lying there, he passed by on the other side. And a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw the man, he, too, went by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he was going down, came where this man was; and as soon as he saw him he felt a pity for him. He came to the man, and dressed his wounds, pouring oil and wine into them. Then he lifted him up, and set him on his own beast of burden, and walked beside him to an inn. There he took care of him all night; and the next morning he took out from his purse two shillings, and gave them to the keeper of the inn, and said, "Take care of him; and if you need to spend more than this, do so; and when I come again I will pay it to you." |
"Which one of these three do you think showed himself a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?"
Good Samaritan Illuminated Letter O
Liberale Da Verona, 15th Century
The scribe said, "The one who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do you likewise." By this parable Jesus showed that "our neighbor" is the one who needs the help that we can give him, whoever he may be.
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