One day a lawyer asked Jesus Christ, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The Savior asked what the lawyer thought that the law said he needed to do, and the lawyer replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
“Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live,” Jesus said.
“Who is my neighbour?” the man asked.
Jesus answered by telling him a parable.
A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when thieves attacked him. They took his clothes, beat him, and left him near death.
When a Jewish priest came down the road and saw the wounded man, he crossed to the other side of the road to avoid him and continued his journey.
Next a Levite, also a citizen of Judah, approached. He looked at the wounded man, then he, too, crossed the road and went on his way without helping the man.
Finally a man from Samaria came along the road. The Jews and the Samaritans were bitter enemies, but the Samaritan saw that the injured man needed help. He bandaged the man’s wounds, put him on his pack animal, took him to an inn, and cared for the injured man there. When the Samaritan left the next day, he paid the innkeeper to look after the man until he got better. He promised that if caring for the man cost more, he would pay the innkeeper the next time he was there.
“Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” Jesus asked the lawyer.
When the lawyer said, “He that shewed mercy on him.” Jesus said, “Go, and do thou likewise.” (See Luke 10:25–37.)
We should each follow Jesus Christ’s example by loving and caring for one another. As we do, we will know that Jesus’ teachings are true and our faith in Him will grow.
(Source: “The Good Samaritan,” Friend, May 1999, 39)