From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Good Samaritan, Bad Rap

The Good Samaritan  (Painting by Jan Wijnants) 
Samaritans have long been maligned, and good ones don’t fare that much better.

The schism between Jews and Samaritas allegedly began with rivalries among Jacob’s 12 sons.  Things didn’t get any better as time went on.  Samaritans became aligned with the Northern Kingdom, and Jews with the Kingdom of Judah.  These kingdoms got along about as well as Jacob’s sons did.

The Jews of Jesus' day wanted little to do with Samaritans.  The Good Samaritan parable therefore speaks volumes about the courage it takes to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Just recently, a Good Samaritan tried “to help a lost toddler find her parents.”  Although this was successfully accomplished, the “Samaritan” was afterwards accused of child abduction.  The child’s father wound up punching “Samaritan” in the face while wanting “to kill him.”

As Martin Luther King, Jr. used to ask:  What, then, shall we do?  Shall we save our own skin and walk on by?  Or shall we reach out to help, knowing full well that this might be a heavy cross to bear?  


Copyright June 29, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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