♦ ♦ ♦ LUKE 10 : 25 – 37 ♦ ♦ ♦ THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT AND THE STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN –
This well-known story begins as an academic game. There were many ways of asking the question ‘What matters most in the law?’ and rabbinic tradition provided a variety of answers, mostly consistent with the lawyer’s response here. Jesus refuses to play the game and tells the story instead, moving from abstract debate to concrete application.
It’s a story that challenges the lawyer profoundly. The hostility between Jews and Samaritans was very strong, so that the lawyer isn’t even able to say ‘the Samaritan’ in response to Jesus’ question (v.37). What if the Kingdom is radically different, that all barriers of race and faith are kicked away, and all that matters is whether we show mercy to one another?
Jesus’ parable invites his audience to think about what it means to love a neighbour through offering practical help.
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