• Not to judge a book by its cover- a very important lesson, especially in recent times.
  • The main thing in this parable is to check the context. Any child can get the point that one should help those in need. Someone who does a little deeper study will realize that the Samaritans and Jews had hated each other for more than five centuries, therefore your neighbor can even be someone from an ethnic, racial or religious group you have reasons to dislike. But the most deeply spiritual teaching of the parable is that a Jewish expert in the Law wanted to know how to inherit eternal life, and Jesus showed him that he couldn't get it by anything he did--and neither can you. It takes something more than what a person can do; it takes help from God. He understood that the point of each of the Ten Commandments is that you should love God above all and your neighbor as yourself. He wanted Jesus to make it easy for him to do these things, first by ignoring God entirely and second by restricting "neighbor" to people he would just naturally like. Instead, Jesus expands it to include national rivals with whom there had been armed conflict in the past. This shows him--and us--that we can't love our neighbor as ourselves, let alone love God above all, and makes us despair of earning everlasting life by our good works. But there is another way. When the victim of the robbers' attack--representing us--was lying half dead and helpless, the Good Samaritan--obviously representing Jesus, the Savior--came along, He treated him, carried him to a place of safety and paid the past and present bills. So first you despair of earning everlasting life, then you learn to seek it from the Savior. For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. Finally, of course, in gratitude you will want to go and help others in need. You've been given the best of good examples.
  • to be one

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