The Good Samaritan
The Good Samaritan is Jesus, because He alone is full of compassion, and He alone is the One who steps in to save us in our dying condition.
To the dying man he demonstrated, forgiveness, love, mercy, and compassion. Jesus, the Samaritan in the parable, is hated by the Jews; so much so that they put Him to death on a cross. Jesus, the Samaritan in the story, has the oil and wine of His Word and Sacraments which He pours out upon us to cleanse us of our sins and heal our brokenness. Jesus, like the Samaritan in our story, takes us to His inn, His church, and He charges the innkeeper (the Holy spirit) to take care of us until He returns. The question we must ponder is this: Who is the victim in the story? is it the priest and the Levite? Is it the robbers? Is it the man left to die?
May I suggest that it’s not the robbers, nor are the Priest and Levite. It is not wounded man, who is victimized? The victim in the parable loses whatever he has, and gains nothing in return. And so, the wounded man cannot be the victim in the story, for he receives much. All the care and help he could ever hope to receive, he got from the from the Good Samaritan.
So, who is the victim? The Good Samaritan is the victim, for he is the only one who loses what he has, and gains nothing in return. John,10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Jesus willingly, out of his heart of compassion, becomes the victim. Jesus was not attacked by the robbers, yet Jesus gives up his time, oil and wine, and money on behalf of the one who was attacked. In this way, Jesus is exchanging places with the wounded man.
Jesus restores to him what was taken from him by the robbers. And so, this Samaritan, in effect becomes the one who is robbed, beaten, and left to die. Isaiah,53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”.
And this is exactly what Jesus has done for us. Jesus can heal this nation, of injustice, of racism. His heart is full of compassion. And so, He does not pass us by. He stops, He comes to us. He sees that us are mortally wounded; spiritually broken, and socially disconnected, Jesús sees how Satan has victimized us and set us against each other, But Jesus also sees that you and I are not without fault in this. For as Satan has done to us, so we have done to others. But our Good Samaritan does not come to punish. He comes to help, to rescue, to forgive. He comes to be for us, and so, Jesus takes our place. He kneels and allows Himself to be stripped, and beaten, and left to die on a cross. He becomes wounded for us. He takes our place in death. He lovingly pours out upon us His oil and wine, so that through these holy vessels of Word and Sacrament, we are given life. And everything that Satan took from can be restored to you in full.
And so, the lawyer in our text, who tests Jesus, simply does not get it. “What must I do,” he asks, “to inherit eternal life?” “Go and be the Good Samaritan,” Jesus tells him. But he would fail, as we all would. For we are not good. Our hearts are full of sin, not compassion. The Good Samaritan can live out His life through us. He can help and rescue others through us. When you help another; when you pour on the oil and wine, it’s Jesus working in and through you. And so, we are good Samaritan’s with a small “g” and a small “s.” But Jesus is the Good Samaritan with a capital “G” and a capital “S.”
When we help others, sometimes it’s not out of a pure motive. Sin is mixed in with all the good we do. But Jesus, the true Good Samaritan, only has pure motives. He gives everything to us purely out of mercy. He forgives us. every one of us Jesus forgives, purely from His heart of compassion. We cannot save ourselves no matter how good we are to others; for all the good we do is not from us; it’s from Jesus. He, our Good Samaritan, saves us from sin, death, and hell, and through us, He is good also to others.
I’m glad the lawyer asked Jesus his question, “the second question, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”? for in doing so, Jesus gave us the parable of the Good Samaritan. Go sell what you have and give to the poor.? He wants away sad because he had great possessions. Our world is in a sad state, and we can fix it if we do the right thing. We will find solutions if we all take responsibility for our actions. So yes, go now and live as good Samaritan to others.
Let’s demonstrate, love, care, and compassion like the good Samaritan because Jesus lives in us. Let’s be part of the solution and not the problem. Let us pray for unity, love and restoration in this great land and the world.