Re-Post from 3 years ago.
I’ve always loved the story of the Good Samaritan. I’ve always loved the idea of someone showing kindness to someone else, but only recently have I begun to realize the serious call this puts on our lives as Christians.
As I’ve read the Gospels, I’ve noticed that Jesus reserves his harshest criticism for those who think they’ve got their beliefs right, but do nothing to act on them. This parable is no different as there are two members of the Jewish clergy who pass by the beaten man. Jesus always had strong words to speak against the religious authorities whether in Temple, or calling them a brood of vipers, or here in this story.
And to make it even more remarkable is that a Samaritan is the one who is the hero. He’s the one who gets off of his donkey and cares for the man. An outcast; a heretic. And when Jesus says, “Go and do likewise,” he’s telling a Jew to go and act like this Samaritan. To show mercy and kindness and compassion.
This is the call of the Gospel. This is the call of Christ. Jesus says here that our neighbor is anyone in need. Faith is good. Believing certain things seems important to Jesus. But if we do not act on those beliefs with compassion and love for each other, that faith is dead. If we don’t bother to get off our donkeys to care for people, we are not truly followers of the Christ whose name we purport to wear.
So I pose the question to the readers: What is our obligation to the poor? How involved to we get? Is donating funds enough? Should we get involved with the lives of the poor rather than kowtowing to the rich?