Why a Samaritan?


  Posted by Peter on Saturday, May 1 6:19 am

Why aren't all the characters in this parable Jewish?
Why did Jesus pick a Samaritan to be the neighbor in this story?

As Robert Mendez Jr. previously pointed out, Samaritans were "a product of mixed interbreeding between jews from the Northern Kingdom and other people after Israel's exile. They were considered heretics." The Jews saw them as half-breeds. Samaria was directly north of Israel. When Jews needed to get on the other side of Samaria ... they literally walked all the way around so they didn't have to pass through. Why bother? Because that's how strongly the Jews felt about Samaritans.

But before we look down on the Jews we must admit that there is still racism in our society today. So who is our neighbor? Jesus felt the need to point out that the person we find hardest to love is our neighbor.

What's an example for modern times? Being from the US, to me this question is the same as asking "What group of people do Americans want to love the least?"

Arabs, Muslims, Iraqis ... these people are our neighbors.



--Peter

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