The Greatest Commandment and the Parable of the Good Samaritan   Leave a comment

Above:  The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Image in the Public Domain

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READING LUKE-ACTS, PART XXVI

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Luke 10:25-37

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I have been writing Bible-based blog posts for more than a decade.  I have, therefore, written about Luke 10:25-37 at least seven previous times.

Therefore, I refer you, O reader to those posts, which bear the tag, “Parable of the Good Samaritan.” I do not feel obligated to repeat in this post all I have written about this parable in previous posts.

Every commentary I have read regarding the Parable of the Good Samaritan agrees that

Who is my neighbor?

is not the real question the man seeking to justify himself asked.  They agree that his actual meaning was,

Who is not my neighbor?

Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, in The Jewish Annotated New Testament (2011), properly push back against stereotypes of Judaism in Christian interpretations of the parable.  They point out that those who passed the man on the dangerous Jerusalem-Jericho road ignored the moral mandate in the Law of Moses regarding respect for corpses and love of neighbors.  Levine and Brettler also stress that the priest had left Jerusalem, and that ritual impurity was, therefore, a lesser concern for him than if he were headed the other way.

I accept those posts and add that they paint the people who did not help the man or respect what they guessed to be a corpse in an especially dark light.  Some people ought to know better and behave differently than they do, after all.

Jesus, having quoted the Torah and indicated his solidarity with the school of Rabbi Hillel, answered the question of the man seeking to justify himself really asked.  Jesus said, in so many words,,

All people are your neighbors.

Levine and Brettler agree.  They write that the issue is:

can we recognize that the enemy might be our neighbor and can we accept this disruption of our stereotypes?

–123

Are you, O reader, and I more interested in justifying ourselves to ourselves and maintaining our stereotypes of others than we are in loving human beings, seeking the best for them, and obeying the moral mandates from God?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 3, 2022 COMMON ERA

THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF EDWARD CASWALL, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDWARD PERRONET, BRITISH METHODIST PREACHER

THE FEAST OF ELMER G. HOMRIGHAUSEN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR, AND PROFESSOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

THE FEAST OF GLADYS AYLWARD, MISSIONARY IN CHINA AND TAIWAN

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM ALFRED PASSAVANT, SR., U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, HUMANITARIAN, AND EVANGELIST

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