Notes on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Part 1
I have two favorite parables. It’s a tossup as to which is my most favorite. I love the story of separation of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. I’m convicted every time I read it that I need to see Jesus in the eyes of the dispossessed and disinherited, that’s anyone “has their back to the wall” in the words of Howard Thurman. I also love the parable of the good Samaritan. The simple phrase at the end of the parable gets stuck in my head like an enticing earbug, “Go and do likewise.”
I’ve been reading an excellent book on the parables (some call it “the best” book on the parables) entitled, Stories with Intent by Klyne R. Snodgrass. Warning: This book is like a Odell Beckham, Jr. pass route—long and deep. And, like all his pass routes, it’s pricey. Before you order it on Amazon (or purchase it at Barnes and Noble if you still believe in brick and mortar stores) in the words of Jesus “count the cost to see if you will finish it.” My estimate is one in one hundred people will finish this book. Perhaps you are that “one” in one hundred?
This week I’m going to share with you some thoughts on my thoughts on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
First, a translation. Exegesis should always begin with a good translation. Since I couldn’t find a good translation (just kidding), here’s my translation from a future publication that I like to call the GSKV (the G. Steve Kinnard Version):
The Good Samaritan
25And behold, a certain lawyer rose up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”
27He answered him, “Love the Lord your God with the whole of your heart, the whole of your life essence, and the whole of your strength, and the whole of your intellect, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
28Jesus said to him, “You answer correctly, do this and you will live.”
29But the man, wishing to vindicate himself, said to Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
30Replying to him, Jesus said, “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among thieves. They stripped him, inflicted him with many blows, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31By chance a certain priest was going down that road. Seeing the man, he passed by on the opposite side. 32Likewise a Levite came by the place. Seeing the man, he passed by on the opposite side. 33A certain Samaritan who was traveling came by. Seeing the man, he felt compassion. 34He approached the man, bandaged his wounds, and poured olive oil and wine on them. He placed the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he got out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, “Take care of him. Whatever you spend, when I return, I will repay you.”
36Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?
36The lawyer said, “The one who showed mercy to him.”
Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”