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Beyond Silver Coins II – The Parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10

October 1, 2006

As I have understood this parable in the past the story ends when the Samaritan leaves the injured man at the inn at which point the preacher normally urges us to act like the Samaritan. This turns out to be a considerable burden requiring of us the kind of sacrifice that is simply not in us to make. But I am no longer sure this is a valid understanding for reasons that I trust will become clear.

Our role model lies elsewhere in the story I think. Jesus question at the end is intriguing.

Luke 10:36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" 37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Who had mercy on the man? Of course the Samaritan did, let’s take that as a given. But there is someone else in the story, and the thing is, we don’t know what he did, we don’t know how he responded when he faced the choice of living mercifully

The story continues after the Samaritan reaches the Inn you see, and just like the Prodigal Son story there are new ambiguities introduced that cause us to puzzle a little. The Prodigal introduces the Elder son, and this story introduces the innkeeper. I am convinced that these closing story sentences are the climax, maybe even the whole point of the story.

This other character in the story is the innkeeper. He only appears in one verse.

Luke 10:35 The next day he took out two silver coins 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.’

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From → Parables

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