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The Good Samaritan

After the northern kingdom of Israel (the "Lost Ten Tribes) was conquered and taken into exile, the Assyrians (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) brought in foreign people to re-settle Samaria, which is located in central Israel between Judea to the south and Galilee to the north. Over time, these non-Israelites became known as Samaritans.

Nazareth When the people of the southern kingdom of Judah, the Jews, returned from their own exile in Babylon (see Why Babylon?), they looked upon the Samaritans as inferior interlopers who had no place in the land of Israel, or any part in God's Kingdom. They didn't allow the Samaritans to help in the re-building of the Temple (see Temples), they didn't associate with Samaritans, and even the word Samaritan was sometimes used as an insult, as those who opposed Jesus Christ blasphemously said to Him: "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?" (John 8:48 RSV)

Of all of the Parables Of Jesus Christ, the "Good Samaritan" is one of the best known, although perhaps not the best completely understood. While the meaning of the term today is taken as someone who helps a stranger in need, the Biblical lesson of the parable, while certainly including that very important part of Christian Living, went much farther. The lesson from the Good Samaritan is that God will accept anyone, from any nation, provided that they repent and obey Him according to His Word.

The Good Samaritan

"And behold, a lawyer stood up to put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

"He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?"

And he answered, "You shall love The Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." [see The Ten Commandments]

"And He said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."

"But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

"Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'"

"Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?"

"He said, "The one who showed mercy on him."

"And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." (Luke 10:25-37 RSV)

Fact Finder: Does God accept people from all nations, provided that they repent and obey Him?
Acts 10:34-35

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