Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Luke 10 - Questionable Neighbors

Jesus' telling of the Parable of the Good Samaritan was prompted by the question, "Who is my neighbor?" At best, the expert in the law was looking for clarification as to who exactly he was to love as himself. Jesus goes through the parable in which we find that the dirty half-breed Samaritan (social stereotypes, not my personal opinion) is a good neighbor to the man in distress. Jesus finishes with, "who was a neighbor to this man? Then go and do likewise."

Jesus never really answers the question. If we look at this exchange literally, we find that the neighbor was the Samaritan. Therefore this is who we should love as ourselves. It results in "love those who show you kindness," which is totally the opposite of what the parable actually means. This has always intrigued me. Where was the guy who stood up and said, "Wait, are we supposed to be like the Jew or the Samaritan?"

Maybe I'm alone in this.

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