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The Good Samaritan

(Luke 10, 25-37)

Instructions for setting the scene:

  • Jesus and the Rabbi (both have a sign) are having a conversation.
  • For the explanation a cap with word „attention!“ on a sign is worn.
RABBI: „Master, what do I have to do to live eternally?“
Explanation: The Rabbi wanted to put Jesus to the test and probably already had the answer to the question prepared. He wanted to know which of God’s teachings – or to be said in Greek – which theology Jesus followed. He wanted to see if Jesus would answer correctly.
JESUS: „What is written in law? What have read in the five books of Moses?“
RABBI: „It says: You should love your Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all of your strength and with your entire mind, and love thy neighbour as much as yourself.“
JESUS: „You already have the answer to your own question. That is fully correct. If you follow this commandment you will have eternal life.”
Explanation: Jesus wants the Rabbi to ask the question seriously. The important is not to talk about and discuss the commandment but to turn the commandment into a deed. The Rabbi should not only know about the commandment but also act on it.
RABBI: „Who is my neighbour? If I do not know who my neighbour is then I cannot love him like a do myself, don’t you think?“
Explanation: 2000 years ago they understood a “neighbour” to be a friend. The Rabbi especially and those who were religiously devoted, often overlooked the needs of other people, or wanted to overlook the needs. They tended to spend more time discussing faith and fighting over laws than helping people. The fellowship which the law actually wanted to achieve was often forgotten.
JESUS: „Watch out! I will simply tell you the following story: You know the road leading from Jerusalem to Jericho?“
RABBI: „Yes, of course. That is one of the most dangerous roads here. Some people have even been murdered recently.“
JESUS: „Exactly, you’re telling me. Anyway, a man is on the road on the way to Jericho. One of the bands of thieves in the area attacked him and it is quite brutal. They beat him up, stole from him and left him half dead on the side of the road.“
RABBI: And? What does that have to do with my question? That happens every couple of days there.“
JESUS: „I am not finished. The man lay there injured and bleeding. A little while later a priest comes along. He sees the man lying there and simply walks on by without helping. A little while later a Levite came along the road. He gets to the place where the man is lying and simply walks on past just like the priest.“
Explanation: Priests and Levites were officials in the temples of Jerusalem. Lots of them lived in Jericho and only went to Jerusalem for their temple services. The priest executed the sacrifices in the temple. The Levites had a lesser status. They had different types of jobs in the temples and had many things to deal with, such as the music. If they would have touched the injured person they believed that they would be unclean through his blood. That had the conclusion that they would have had to take part in a complicated cleansing ritual. Obviously no service could be done in the temple in this time. We don't know if this was the reason why they did not help. Maybe they were scared that thieves were around or simply did not want anything to do with normal folk.
JESUS: „A third person came along – a Samaritan.“
RABBI: „What? One of those dirty dogs?“
JESUS: „A Samaritan comes along. He goes up to the injured man, treats his wounds with ointment and bandages him. Then he places him on the donkey he travelling on and brings him to the next guesthouse where he treats him further. However that is not all. On the next day he takes his money bag, gives the landlord 2 silver coins and says: "Care for him! And if you need more money I will give you it when I come back."
Explanation: The Samaritans had their own sanctuary for God and were thought of as heretics by the Jews. There were often political arguments among the two groups of people. The Samaritans were ignored and avoided by the devout Jews and communities. The ointment and the wine which the Samaritans applied to the wounds of the injured had healing effects. It was a sort of first aid which the Samaritans gave.
JESUS: „And, what do you think? Who was the next person from the three to be robbed by the thieves?“
RABBI: „The one who helped him of course. Logical.“
JESUS: „Then you do the same thing yourself!“

The story is very impressive. It allows us to ask the question: Who is my neighbour in actual fact? What does he look like? Am I there for others and help them or do I prefer to look away and walk on?

Jesus asks who the next person is to be attacked by the thieves. For who am I the neighbour?

Who can I help and do something good? A change of view point is often good. Try to look at the world through someone else’s eyes then you will see what he needs.


I have a favour to ask you: Try to give someone a little bit of joy in the coming week. You can be as creative as you like (helping out, a present, a call, ...). So that you do not forget about this I have brought you a little souvenir card Next week everyone can tell us what has happened, what they did and what they experienced. The interesting thing is how other people react.


You should love,
the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all of your strength and all of your mind,
and your neighbour like yourself.

Let’s go!!!

Author: This entry came from Christopher M. who has also provided many thoughts and ideas for group sessions. Many thanks for this material and other entries.

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