The Kind Stranger (Luke 10: 25 - 37)
Jesus was teaching one day when a man in the crowd asked him a question.
‘Can you tell me, Jesus, what I have to do to live forever?’
Jesus smiled. ‘Love God,’ he answered, ‘and love your neighbour as much as you love yourself.’
‘But who is my neighbour?’ asked the man, hoping to trick Jesus. ‘Is he just the fellow who lives next door?’
‘Let me tell you a story,’ Jesus said, ‘and I think you will understand.’
‘Once upon a time, there was a man- a man like any of us – who was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. Now as you all know, that is a very dangerous road. It’s twisty and it’s steep, and there’s no end of places for robbers and thieves to hide. Well, the robbers were waiting that day. And they grabbed the man. And they beat him. And they took his money and left him to die.’
‘Oh dear,’ sighed the crowd. They felt sorry for the man. Jesus went on with his story.
‘In a little while, another man came walking down that road – a priest, on his way home from worshipping God at the Temple. He saw the dying man, and what do you think he did?’
‘He helped him!’ shouted someone in the crowd.
‘He saved him!’ shouted another.
‘No!’ said Jesus firmly. ‘He did not. He took one look at that poor beaten man, then crossed to the other side of the road and walked away.’
‘Oh my,’ the crowd murmured.
‘Wait,’ Jesus continued. ‘Soon another man passed by. He served God at the Temple too. So what do you think this man did when he saw the wounded traveller?’
‘He ran for help!’ shouted someone.
‘He raised the alarm!’ shouted another.
‘No!’ said Jesus continued. ‘He did not. Just like the priest, he crossed to the other side of the road and left that poor man to die.’
‘Oh no,’ the crowd sighed.
‘Don’t worry,’ said Jesus. ‘For there was one more man who passed by that day. And he was a Samaritan.’
‘A Samaritan?’ shouted someone. ‘They’re different from us!’
‘We hate Samaritans!’ shouted another.
‘And they hate us!’ added a third.
‘So I’ve heard,’ nodded Jesus. ‘But when this Samaritan saw the man, he did not walk away. No. He bandaged his wounds. He loaded him on his donkey. He took him to a nearby inn. And He paid for that man to stay there until he was well.’
Jesus looked at the man who had asked him the question. ‘So tell me,’ he said, ‘which of these men was a neighbour to the man who had been robbed?’
‘The third one. The Samaritan,’ the man answered.
‘That’s right,’ Jesus smiled. Because my neighbour is anyone who needs my help. Now you go and help our neighbour too.’
This version of the ‘Parable of the Good Samaritan’ (Luke 10: 25-37) is taken from The Lion Storyteller Bible by Bob Hartman & Krisztina Kalai Nagy