Good Samaritan: Compassion Even for Our Enemies?

The parable of the Good Samaritan speaks to us from the pages of the Bible, asking us to be humble and lend a helping hand to those in need. It serves as a timeless reminder that shows us how we can bring comfort and assistance to someone in distress by being kind and understanding, no matter what hardships they may face. As society progresses at an ever-faster pace, it is easy for people to forget this simple but powerful message – but its importance has stood the test of time and still resonates with many today. By paying attention to our own compassion each one of us can become a ‘Good Samaritan’ – not just when it comes to those close to home, but to all humanity.

The Priest, The Levite, and The Samaritan

The Parable of the Good Samaritan, found in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 10:25-37) speaks to the importance of showing compassion towards one’s enemies or those who don’t agree with us

In the story, a man is beaten and left for dead on the side of the road. A priest and a Levite pass by, but they both avoid helping the man. However, a Samaritan – a group of people despised by the Jews at that time – stops to help the man. He tends to the man’s wounds, takes him to an inn, and pays for his care.

This man was the outcast.  He was considered an enemy of the Jews. And yet while the ones who ‘should have’ stopped walked on by, it was this man who stopped to care. He had plenty of reasons and excuses to pass on by.  But he stepped up and got involved.

Compassion and Kindness even for Our Enemies?

This parable illustrates that it is essential to show compassion and kindness to all people, including our enemies or those who may not agree with us. The Samaritan was a perfect example of this, as he showed love and care for someone who was not of his own group and who may even have been considered an enemy.

Jesus concludes the parable by saying, “Go and do likewise,” which is a call for all people to follow the example of the Samaritan and show compassion and love to all, regardless of their background or beliefs.

GO – not post on social – not call a friend to complain – ACT

I think many of us are good at reaching out or going that extra mile for those who are like us – look like us – think like us – live like us. But how are we at reaching out to those who are not like us?  We live in a time when there is much contention. Political disagreements run rampant. Can we offer that same compassion to those who may seem to be our enemies, to those ‘others’?  Can we take the time to have an open conversation, even if we don’t agree? Can we try to see another’s perspective rather than simply writing them off as wrong? Can we walk with them and truly get to know them?

What are some ways that we can be ‘Good Samaritans’ today?