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The Good Samaritan


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#1 chance

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 08:05 PM

If there is any part of the Bible that “speaks to me” it is the parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10-25) the hidden meaning (though not very well disguised) is the fact that a Samaritan was not considered by the locals to be ‘one of them’ possibly the equivalent of a Muslim or Communist by contemporary standards. Yet it is this person that shows the most compassion to someone possibly not of his own tribe, nor belief. Modern reflections of this is in the compassion strangers will aid the downtrodden or disaster afflicted (e.g. Indonesian tsunami).



25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.





I have one more chapter that I find very intriguing but it is non-canon.

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 10:46 PM

This is also a representation of what happens when we look upon ourselves as better than someone else. When God created man, he did not refer to him as a certain man (white, black etc...). It was man period. And because we have thought of ourselves as better than someone else (to good to help them), then it is ourselves that have put man into the situations that we often find him in. But yet we try and blame God.

When you see a homeless person begging for money, what is the first thing you think of?
1) Get a job?
2) Maybe he's faking it?
3) He's just going to buy a drink and get drunk, so why give him money?
4) Etc...

So by thinking all of these things, were you really:
1) Trying to find an excuse not to help?
2) Trying to justify in your own mind why you should keep your hard earned money?
3) To show no compassion, because you have no compassion for such a person?
4) Etc....

When you see organization asking for money to help a poor nation, do you:
1) Think of all the organizations that have turned out to be scams?
2) Think that we should help people in our own country before we help someone else? Even though you would not give to a homeless person.
3) Think that it is their own fault, and we have enough problems of our own?
4) Change the channel because you don't want to deal with it?


It's like the saying goes. We may point a finger at the one we would love to blame it all on, but there are 4 other fingers that point right back at us, that condemn "us" more than the one. But even with all of our faults and accusations, He went to the cross anyway.

When all is said and done, only Christ showed the love and compassion that is beyond explaination, to do what He did, regardless of what we may have done. And even though He is the Son of God, He became man so he could show us the example of the ultimate Good Samaritan.

#3 Fred Williams

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 10:46 AM

Hello Chance,

Thanks for the post, but I really intended that only Christians start threads in this forum, and non-Christians could comment or ask questions if they want. I apologize for not making this clear when I started the forum. So please don't take this personal that I have moved your thread to the Bible Q&A section. I've updated the pinned Purpose thread for the "Hidden Treasures" forum to hopefully be clearer on my intent for the forum. Thanks for your understanding,

Fred

#4 chance

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 02:00 PM

Fred Williams

Thanks for the post, but I really intended that only Christians start threads in this forum, and non-Christians could comment or ask questions if they want. I apologize for not making this clear when I started the forum. So please don't take this personal that I have moved your thread to the Bible Q&A section. <snip>

No problem.

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This is also a representation of what happens when we look upon ourselves as better than someone else. When God created man, he did not refer to him as a certain man (white, black etc...). It was man period. 

.

I take it you mean the Priest and the Levite as being representative of humanity in general? It is an unfortunate trait in our nature that we tend to segregate people into “us and them” categories, this makes it easier to turn a blind eye. The point of the parable IMO is to show that mankind can get along with others by ignoring this feeling, basically it’s a twist on “the golden rule”.

One thing puzzles me about your reply is the

But yet we try and blame God.

, was this a general statement or to something specific in Luke 10 –25?

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 09:16 PM

Just in general. We all do it one time or another. The non-believer tend to do it more often, which is understandable.

#6 colm

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 05:37 AM

When you see a homeless person begging for money, what is the first thing you think of?
1) Get a job?
2) Maybe he's faking it?
3) He's just going to buy a drink and get drunk, so why give him money?
4) Etc...


Read "Down and Out in Paris and London" by George Orwell.. You'll never think that again... Especially the one about faking it.

I think really it is dealing with the discomfort of stopping and giving money to a homeless person. As you say later in the post the above things are just excuses to justify to avoiding him. Maybe he is going to buy a drink and get drunk... Maybe he isn't, but give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he's going to buy food and get fed. If I was to give away €10, and €5 of it went on food and €5 on alcohol, that would be a good thing, IMHO.

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 10:32 PM

Read "Down and Out in Paris and London" by George Orwell.. You'll never think that again... Especially the one about faking it.

I think really it is dealing with the discomfort of stopping and giving money to a homeless person. As you say later in the post the above things are just excuses to justify to avoiding him. Maybe he is going to buy a drink and get drunk... Maybe he isn't, but give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he's going to buy food and get fed. If I was to give away €10, and €5 of it went on food and €5 on alcohol, that would be a good thing, IMHO.

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The whole object, regardless of how the money was used. Did we do what was necessary?

Even Christ will give judgement unto what we have done:

Matthew 25:

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.



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Posted 20 November 2005 - 04:13 AM

Fred Williams  No problem.

Admin3 .

I take it you mean the Priest and the Levite as being representative of humanity in general?  It is an unfortunate trait in our nature that we tend to segregate people into “us and them” categories, this makes it easier to turn a blind eye.  The point of the parable IMO is to show that mankind can get along with others by ignoring this feeling, basically it’s a twist on “the golden rule”.

One thing puzzles me about your reply is the , was this a general statement or to something specific in Luke 10 –25?

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The reason I said to blame God, was that this is the usual question I get from atheists. Why does God let people suffer? Why did God let those people die. etc... I thought I would cover that base so I would not have to later.

To ask why God this, and why God that. Is to blame God for the why.

#9 chance

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 02:53 PM

The reason I said to blame God, was that this is the usual question I get from atheists. Why does God let people suffer? Why did God let those people die. etc... I thought I would cover that base so I would not have to later.

To ask why God this, and why God that. Is to blame God for the why.

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Thanks for the clarification. IMO blaming God or “the problem of evil” is a separate and difficult theological or philosophic question. I have been in these discussion on other forums and you are correct with you observation that atheists will, at an early opportunity use this argument.

I like you argument about because we have thought of ourselves as better than someone else , makes a lot of sense. I believe this is one root cause of humanities problems, and one the reasons “the Good Samaritan” is such a good lesson, i.e. by learning to live as such the world will be a better place.

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 08:10 PM

I can only agree (and openly confess) that it is tiresome to greet regular beggers and of course I have questions.

I must have read every story by George Orwell ... and he is at his best in Homage to Catalonia ... as well as in Down and Out ... and yet I very well know that there are professional mooches out there.

I work near a group home for the very lost. People have emotional illness, drug and alcohol issues... you name it... yet the home provides board and food and access to counselling .. and the welfare system provides some spending money too on top of that.

Yet some of these same folks all day harrass passers-by on the sidewalks with "Got any spare change ... I am hungry and homeless".

No they are not. Not many of these.

I don't think the lesson of the Good Samaritan is to be a sucker.

A lot of good can be done with spare change ... passing it to mooches is throwing it away on cigarettes and booze in many cases... in other cases you are supporting the destructive habit of hard drugs.

That's fine if that's what you want to do.

But consider this. Is that feeling good or doing good? Is it about self or about helping?

For some of the money thrown at aggressive poor in our midst ... you may have much better uses to put to it ... like World Vision where your one-time $100 gift for medical supplies will be matched by private firms to provide a total $1500 clinic supply kit for 3rd world areas that have no health clinics.

In Africa where disease including AIDS is rampant ... your choice to support a better cause could mean life or death - not extra booze for a good liar.

I do think one high lesson of the Good Samaritan is that good deeds should never be targetted at the people "like you" or the "people you fit in well with".

An ethnic barrier and a sectarian barrier divided the Moses-centric samaritans from the Judah-centric priestly legalists of the Jerusalem-based Judaism in 30 A.D.

Jesus was showing up the faults of legalism (i.e. avoiding the unclean person and acting worse than the stranger - with unclean Samaritan ethnic background and an unclean Samaritan version of Judaism).

He was also striking at our hearts to search our barriers and our excuses.

No it is not always an excuse to refuse to support all askers for help.

Excuses are when we avoid our glance from genuine suffering - not aggressive panhandlers with mock problems and great need for na chemical fix.

Sure ... It can be an excuse to talk a good talk about caring and then not acting on it ... for whatever reason.

The Samaritan acted. He helped an obvious case of need, not a case of professional begging.

The modern "helper of the poor" relies on taxing others (not his own purse) to feel moral righteousness. He lets the underclass be out if his life ... or at most a fleeting moment of passing quarters to a "token" poor - actually a pro panhandler.

It is easy to pass out quarters in fact.

It is harder to be discriminating and effective.

ONCE YOU DECIDE THAT THE MONEY IS FOR THE POOR - IT IS STEALING FROM THE POOR IF YOU JUST THROW IT AT ANYBODY WITH AN AGGRESSIVE STORY WHO "IMITATES" THE NEEDY.

That's right ... YOU ARE STEALING FROM THE POOR! when you let somebody else catch the money before it actually reaches the poor.

GIVE a small blessing only ... no cash ... and WATCH.

That the boy who gulps down the cheap hamburger (showing real need) is proven - let him have a steak dinner, the address of a caring hostel, and a bit of cash and warm clothing.

That other youth with expensive shoes and who tosses away the cheap hamburger as soon as you turn the corner ... make sure he gets nada.

That's being a good Samaritan.

#11 chance

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 09:38 PM

George R,Dec 16 2005, 01:10

I think you make some valid points, IMO you don’t need to follow the “good Samaritan” literally, it is after all a parable. There is much to be said for - “tough love” or “give a starving man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and he can feed a family”. Both tactics are valid IMO, and both reflect the same teaching.

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 04:26 AM

Chance,

You may not understand this, but God actually tests us with this.

Hebrews:13:
2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Now to tell you a story where I believe I was tested with this:

I was helping some friends with a bussiness they had started. It was a delivery service where we delivered all over town. I had been working at this for about a month. And was not making that much profit. Was falling behind on bills. One day I was delivering a package downtown. As I pulled up to the building, I noticed some homeless people walking around. Upon getting out of my car, I grabbed my delivery package. I had not got 20 feet before I was approached by one of the homeless people. It was a black man that I would guess he was about 30 years old.

He ask if I had pocket change, I smiled and without hesitation give him a 20 dollar bill. As soon as I gave it to him, He smiled and his face changed. It went from someone who looked dirty and discurage to something beyond what I could comprehend. His face actually started to glow a little. Then as he walked away, I noticed that this glow seemed to surround him. At first I was puzzled as to what had actually just happened. I shrugged it off and delivered my package.

As I left the place to deliver my next package, I sooned realized what had just happened. I had been tested. The person who approached me was an angel who posed as a homeless person. When I gave the money, even though I was having difficulties with paying bills. I gave with a cheerful heart (not just giving because I felt I had to). God smiled at me by allowing me to see what I had seen.
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What had lead up to this was where me and a friend had an arguement about this very samething just days before. I believe God heard this arguement and tested me on it. My friend and I argued about giving money to the homeless. He said that they would just buy more booze, or drugs etc... And was the reason he would not give. I told him if he was so worried about how his money was to be used, take the person to grab a bite to eat. This way he would know where his money went. He basically said nothing to what I had said, but ask me a question.

He asked: You mean you would just give the money? I said yes. He tried to justify why he would not by saying: But if you know what the money is used for, then would you not be contributing to that sin? Good question, I thought. But then I remembered what Christ had said, and told him it did not matter. As long as we did what was expected of us, what was done afterwards did not matter. As those words left my mouth, I felt kinda strange. As if a change had happened inside of me. As if I had truly found what God wanted me to know. I shrugged it off and did not think about it again until what happened a few days later.

The lessons we learn in life we are often taught, or have a chance to learn through devine appointment. The homeless angel encounter was my devine appointment to see if I would act on what I had said. If I had failed, I would not have seen what I had seen. I did not expect to be tested, but had learned a lesson by acting on my faith.
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Non-believers often ask me: How do you know there is a God? It is because He shows Himself to those who have enough faith to do His will when called upon. He is not a God that just says: Here I am, see me?

heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

2cor 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

jn 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Because I had taken my faith in the words of an eternal being (Christ=things not seen), applied them to the temporal (The homeless=things which are seen). I was given a glimpse into what is not seen, which strengthened my faith.
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Side note: Some may ask: How do you get to such a point where God becomes this personal with you?

mt 11:6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

A believer cannot deny the word and say: "I have faith". To deny the word is to deny God. Why?

1jn 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Seeing that these three are one. To deny one of these is to deny all of these. Why is denial so important not to do?

Christ speaking:
mt 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

#13 Dave

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 04:38 PM

I'd like to add to this discussion by relating what my family does to be good Samaritans. Whenever we go to a Taco Bell or a Wendy's or some other national chain we get our meal for ourselves, and then we buy a gift certificate or two for a meal ... say, about $5 worth. My wife tucks those into her purse, and then when we see someone in obvious need of a meal we give him a gift certificate folded into a gospel tract. We usually stop and talk to them for awhile to ascertain if they have any particular prayer needs. Then, most importantly, we pray for them ... sometimes right on the spot if that is appropriate, but always later on as we are in the car driving away, and continuously for months afterward in our family night prayers. There are Martys and Bobs and Sams spread out all along the route between our home in Central California and where we visit in Arizona twice a year who are being prayed for by us every day.

We don't know the results of any of our giving. We know Marty and Bob and Sam at least get a meal or two out of it. We do know that God will work everything for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

Dave




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