Being a good Samaritan

Most of us are familiar with Christ Jesus' parable of the man who fell among thieves and was robbed, wounded, and left to die. We read that he was ignored by a passing priest and by a Levite but that "a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him." The Samaritan dressed his wounds and took him to an inn to recover. After relating this parable, Jesus instructed his listeners, "Go, and do thou likewise." Luke 10:33, 37. How can we best obey this command?

All around us every day we see and hear about the troubles of our fellowmen, our neighbors. Some have fallen among the thieves of illness, unhappiness, or sin. Have we had compassion on them—holy, uplifting affection derived from God, which shows us how to pour the oil of prayer on their wounds and bring them to an inn, the atmosphere of spiritual truth and love, for healing? Or like the priest and the Levite have we passed by—maybe because they didn't ask for help? The parable does not indicate that the injured man asked for aid either. Yet this wise, kind, and good Samaritan gave it. He recognized the suffering and desired to see it end, and he knew he had aid that could end it. Perhaps we desire to see an end to another's suffering but are afraid to offer help.

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