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Discovery Magazine 3/1/1990

Who is a Good Neighbor?

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

One of the reasons Jesus was such a great teacher is because He taught important things by telling good stories called parables (“pair-a-bulls”). One of His best known parables was about a Jew and a Samaritan (read Luke 10:25-37). The Jews and Samaritans lived in the same country, but they did not get along (John 4:9). They usually treated each other badly.

In this story, a Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. Along the way, he was beaten and robbed by bandits, and left to die. Even though some Jewish people walked by, they passed on without helping this wounded man. After awhile, a Samaritan man came along. Although we might have expected him to pass on by as well, he turned out to be a true neighbor to the hurt Jew. The good Samaritan was:

Courageous: He did good in spite of the robbers. He helped the Jew, even though his own friends might have laughed at him for doing it.

Caring: He helped the man because he was hurt. He did not care whether the man was a Samaritan or a Jew.

Helpful: He applied soothing medicine to the man's wounds.

Unselfish: He let the man ride on his donkey.

Generous: He took the hurt man to a hotel and paid for his stay.

For all these reasons, the Samaritan man was a wonderful example of a good neighbor. We should be like him.

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