Hi, I'm Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY and a member of the network of biblical storytellers. To learn more about its mission, go to nbsint.org
The parable of the Good Samaritan comes in the 10th chapter of the gospel of Luke, and it begins with a lawyer coming to Jesus and asking, ""What is the greatest commandment?"" And Jesus says, ""Well the greatest commandment is this: love the Lord God with all your heart and soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. These are the greatest commandments."" But the lawyer, wanting to justify himself said, ""Well, who is my neighbor?"" And Jesus tells him the story of a man who was going from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell upon robbers who beat him and stripped him and left him for dead. Now a priest happened by and he saw the man and he walked by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, he came through and saw the man, and he too walked by on the other side, but a Samaritan when he saw the man had great pity for him, and he got off his animal, and he bandaged the man's wounds and poured oil and wine on them and put him on his own animal and took him to an inn where he took care of him. The next day, he said to the inn keeper, ""Here is two denari — two days wages. Take care of him, and when I come back, if you have spent any more on him, I will repay you."" And Jesus said to the lawyer, ""Now which was neighbor to the man in the road?"" And the lawyer said, ""Well I guess the one who took pity on him."" Now notice the lawyer doesn't say the Samaritan because the lawyer and many of the Jews didn't like the Samaritans. They were hated peoples. They were distrusted peoples. So sometimes we call a good Samaritan a helper which in the story he is, but really more a Samaritan. The good Samaritan is one we normally distrust, but who we find to be our neighbor and helper as a surprise.