Friday, November 20, 2015

How to treat all refugees, according to Jesus: The Parable of the Good Samaritan

The text below was adapted
from scripture with only
slight edits for clarity.


And behold, a lawyer stood up to put [Jesus] to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

[Jesus] said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied, [“To answer that, let me tell you a story”]:
A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.

Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.

So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’

[Jesus looked at the lawyer and asked], “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”

[The lawyer] replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Additional reading:

I toyed with the idea of rewriting this as a story, putting it into our current setting. Yet, the message is so simple and clear, I merely added some minor edits for clarity and context. Do you believe this parable provides clear direction on how we should be viewing the Syrian refugee crisis? Why or why not? Please do share your thoughts in the comments.

FYI: The image at the top of the post was shared by Doug Trouten on Facebook, who also said, “I’m looking for that verse where Jesus tells us to value our own safety above his command to love our neighbors, but I just can’t find it.”


Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

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