Good Samaritan - Page 2


The lawyer asked Our Lord the question, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (NRSV, Luke 10:25) in the hope that Our Lord would find himself unable to give an adequate answer and so bring ridicule on himself. When, however, the question was turned on him and he was obliged to answer it himself, he changed his tactics and asked Our Lord to define the meaning of the word ‘neighbour’ in that particular context.

The passage in Deuteronomy from which the command to love one’s neighbour was quoted, restricted the word to mean a fellow-Israelite. The lawyer, knowing Our Lord’s wide outlook and sympathies, hoped that he would broaden that meaning to include people of other races. He would then not only be caught contradicting what the Old Testament taught but would also rouse the deep-seated religious and racial prejudices of his Jewish audience and incur their hostility.

In reply Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan.