Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan to answer the question,
“Who is my neighbor?”
The term “good Samaritan” means a person who goes out of their way to help someone, especially a stranger, often at personal sacrifice.
Luke chapter 10, NIV
“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 half 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 on 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 asked them ,
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
I think the parable also answers the question “Who gives health care?”
The story doesn’t mention doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals but many health care facilities and charitable organizations use the name “good Samaritan” .
Health care includes a variety of acts that contribute to health and well being such as
- donate food to a local food bank
- deliver meals to housebound persons
- coach sports teams
- donate clothes, blankets and toiletries to a homeless shelter
- take an animal to visit residents of a nursing home
- help with clean up after a natural disaster
- learning and using CPR
- teaching a child to ride a bicycle or swim
- helping a special needs child ride a horse
- taking soup to a sick friend
- driving a disabled person to a medical appointment
In a sermon about the good Samaritan,
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said,
“I imagine that the first question the priest and Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But by the very nature of his concern, the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”
Health care, whether done by professionals or laypersons, asks the same question-
“What will happen if I don’t stop to help?”
Learn more about the work of Samaritan’s Purse and consider what you might do to help support its work.
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