This is the second devotional Eric has written. He and I wrestled over the example he chose, but he thought it would work for kids. Please also see his first devotional.
The Supportive Samaritan
September 24, 2010
The parable of the Good Samaritan reminds us that we should help others in need. This parable is told because a person, well-educated in the law, wanted to test Jesus. So he stood up and asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life. In order to answer the question, Jesus asked him for his understanding of the law. The man answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus commended his answer as being correct. “Do this, and you will live,” he said. But then the man, attempting to justify himself asked one more question: “And who is my neighbor?’” To answer the expert’s question, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan recorded in Luke 10:30-37. Read the parable and then consider the following questions:
- In what ways did the priest and the Levite act wrongly?
- What do we learn from the Samaritan about how to treat others?
- How can we follow the example of the Samaritan in our own lives?
So, in what ways did the first two passers-by react wrongly? Well, think about it this way: You fall off your bike near a remote road, injuring your leg so badly that you can barely drag yourself to the roadside. To your relief, you hear a car approaching. As the car draws near, you notice it is a nicely-detailed, black Cadillac with spinner hub caps. It’s driven by a sharply-dressed businessman who slows just enough to look you in the eye and then drives off. Dismayed, you begin to worry that you’ll be stranded overnight. Soon, however, another vehicle approaches. A lady, perhaps a rich socialite, wearing a beautifully-sequined, red dress and a diamond necklace with a matching ring and earrings approaches in a Rolls-Royce and merely glances your way as she drives by. These two people clearly notice your need for help, but they show no concern and ignore any obligation to help. Why don’t they stop to help?
They probably recognize that stopping to assist will be very time-consuming. They might also feel they can ignore your need because you do not know them and no one else is there to see them act so improperly. They act wrongly by showing no compassion and selfishly ignoring your need. They do not love you, their neighbor, as themselves.
The third man in Jesus’ parable, a Samaritan, took compassion on the injured man, a Jew, and took him to an inn where he paid for his care. In what ways did the Samaritan love the injured man as himself? To continue the analogy, you are still lying bloodied and bruised on the side of the road, wondering how in the world you are going to get home. An old car approaches and slows. A man wearing a McDonald’s cap and uniform rolls down the window of his 1974 Ford Pinto and asks if you need help. Without waiting for an answer, he speeds ahead, pulls over, jumps out of his car, and runs quickly to your side. He then calls for an ambulance and follows it to the hospital. After he checks if you are ok, he calls your parents and waits for them to arrive. This man clearly shows compassion on you, even though he does not know you and even though it means he will be late for work. His example is one we should follow.
How can you apply the lessons in this parable? If someone in your school is getting bullied, there will be people who join in, people who watch or ignore, and hopefully people who help the bullied person. Which person would you like to be, and why? Most of us will say we want to be the person who protects and stands by the bullied classmate. But, what if that person has often been mean to you? Or what if the kid being teased is really weird? In those cases, are you willing to risk others laughing at you or bullying you, too? Sometimes, doing the honorable thing is actually quite difficult. We should help people like the Good Samaritan did. We should not ignore an obligation to help other people and we should go out of our way to help those in need. And we can apply the lessons of the Good Samaritan in everyday things such as remembering that everyone is our neighbor, helping our parents around the house after a hard, stressful day, and helping people up when they’ve been knocked down(figuratively and literally). The parable of the Good Samaritan tells us that everyone is our neighbor.