In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 10, Verses 25-37 Jesus is asked about loving your neighbor. In response Jesus defines who is a neighbor with this parable:
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him for dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled , came where the man was, and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘ Look after him’ he said, ‘ and when I return I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
Jesus then asked, “Which of these three do you think was the neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” It was obvious to all present with Jesus – ” The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus then says, ” Go and do likewise.”
This powerful parable of the Samaritan should serve as a guide for all Christians in this country and indeed around the world as they are asked to show mercy to those Syrian refugees who have been beaten down by the Assad regime and left “half dead.” Sadly, politicians who claim to be avid readers and supporters of the Bible’s message choose to ignore the words of Jesus when it comes to responding to the poor, the hungry, the displaced. Christians are supposed to be followers of Christ.
The Samaritan, a foreigner, got the message of Jesus and went out of his way to help someone in need. Being a modern day Samaritan is certainly filled with challenges and sacrifices, but as this country debates the fate of thousands of Syrian refugees it is helpful to remember the good deed of this stranger on the road to Jericho.