One day as Jesus was teaching a crowd of Jewish people, He told them that they should love their neighbors as much as they love themselves. A man in the crowd raised his hand and said, “Tell me, who is my neighbor?” To help the man understand, Jesus told this story:
Jesus said, “A Jewish man was making his way into town when suddenly, he was attacked by robbers. The bad robbers beat the man until he was almost dead and took everything that he had. They left the man in the ditch to die.”
While the man lie there in terrible pain, a Jewish priest (a religious leader in the temple or church) came walking by. He saw the man and knew that he needed help, but instead of stopping to care for the man, he walked to the other side of the road and passed him by.
After awhile, another Jewish man came by. He was a “Levite”, also someone who worked in the temple, and just like the priest, he passed the man by, refusing to stop and help him.
A third man came by who was a Samaritan. The Bible tells us that for many years the Jewish people had hated the Samaritan people and the Samaritan people had hated the Jewish people. They refused to speak or even look at each other! But this Samaritan man had compassion on the Jewish man and stopped to help him.
The Samaritan man applied oil and wine and wrapped up the wounds of the Jewish man. Then, he placed the Jewish man on the back of his donkey and walked him into town.
When the Samaritan man found an Inn, a place where travelers could spend the night, he paid the innkeeper for a room so that the Jewish man could rest and heal. The Samaritan man paid for the room with his own money and even told the Innkeeper that if he owed him any more, he would pay him as soon as he returned for his new “friend”.
When Jesus finished the story, He turned to the man in the crowd and said, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by the robbers?” The man said, “The one who showed him mercy.” He was talking about the Samaritan man. The Samaritan showed love and compassion and didn’t care that he was helping someone that his people hated. Jesus said, “Exactly. And that’s the way you should be to all people as well.
God loves everyone in the world so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for every person in the world. Jesus doesn’t care what we look like or where we’re from, He just wants us all to believe in Him and be saved. When Jesus lives in our hearts, we should treat everyone like our “neighbor” and love them like Jesus does.