Impossible … But Not Too Hard

National Catholic Register | 7/14/2019 | Steven D. Greydanus
abbycraig (Posted by) Level 3
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“Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”

He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”

“Go and do likewise.”

Not “Go and think likewise.” Not “Agree with the moral of this story” or “Find stories like this inspiring.”

Parable - Good - Samaritan - Jesus - Parables

The parable of the Good Samaritan is one of Jesus’ best-known, most beloved parables. We all love stories of modern-day Good Samaritans — like that German rescue-boat captain, Carola Rackete, who rescued scores of migrants and refugees last month who were stranded in the Mediterranean, dying of thirst.

She was arrested for violating a blockade, but a little over a week ago a judge freed her, saying that she had only been carrying out her duty to protect life. Those people would have died if she hadn’t rescued them. Clearly a Good Samaritan.

Heads - One - Life - Ideas

And we could all nod our heads and say “Good for her.” But no one inherits eternal life by having the right ideas.

Jesus told this parable to help explain his answer to the question “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Question - Something

It’s a practical question: There’s something we must do. But what? What must we do?

What Does the Parable Really Mean?

Mean - Strangers - Side - Road - People

Does the parable mean helping strangers lying on the side of the road? Or just generally helping people who need our help whenever we have the chance?

That’s part of it, yes. If we see people in need and aren’t willing to help them, how can we be saved?

Hand - People - Day - Day - Kingdom

On the other hand, we can help people in need all day every day and never enter the kingdom of God.

What does the parable mean? Does it mean overcoming prejudice, crossing social dividing lines, uniting people separated by boundaries of nationality or race or whatever it may be?

Part - Remember - Samaritans - Jews - Enemies

Again, that’s part of it. Remember, Samaritans and Jews were enemies; Jews had nothing...
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