Life is The Jericho Road

One of my favorite Parables attributed to Jesus is about a person who gets beat up, left for dead, ignored by religious leaders, and gets helped by another of conventional society’s misfits.

I love this Parable.

This Parable is not about God.

This Parable is not about Heaven or Hell.

This Parable is about life.

This Parable is about “the real world”.

This Parable is about “The Human Condition”:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’[h] and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”[i]

28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed,[j] he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

(Source:  biblegateway.com)

My thoughts:

Life is the Jericho Road:

This parable is often called “The Parable of The Good Samaritan”.  Note even the heading above as copied and pasted from Biblegateway.com.

But I maintain that this is actually “The Parable of Those Who Wish to Justify Themselves”.

The text itself is quite clear on the matter.  Jesus told this story in response to an individual who is attempting to justify himself in response to being told to love his neighbor as himself.

This is “The Parable of Those Who Wish to Justify Themselves”.

There are many people in life who “wish to justify themselves”.

Life is the Jericho Road:

There are people in life  who will beat you up and leave you for dead.

Thugs is what they are.

Life’s thugs.

Life’s thugs may not always actually hit you with their fists.  But they will sure enough kick your teeth in and leave you  helpless.

Life’s thugs do not always operate as “desperados”.

LIfe’s thugs may very well wear business suits.

Life’s thugs may be Wall Street investors or CEO’s.

Life’s thugs are those who ruthlessly take from others, and do not concern themselves with the well being of those who they plunder.

Life does have its thugs.

Life is the Jericho Road:

There are people in life who get beat up and left to their own resources.

These people are the victims of life.

These people may live on the streets just blocks from where you live.

These people may very well be checking out your groceries at your Corporate operated “Market”.

Or these people may be victims of War.

War which is ironically waged by a “Christian Nation”.

These people are victims of life.

Life is the Jericho Road:

There are people in life who are “comfortable”.

And like the Priest and the Levite on the Jericho road….  they choose to “pass by on the other” side when they encounter life’s victims.

Like the Priest and the Levite they have places to go and things to do.

Perhaps they must “pass by on the other side” in order to go to Worship Service.

Perhaps they must “pass by on the other side” in order to go to Men’s Prayer Breakfast..

Perhaps they must “pass by on the other side” in order to go to Ladie’s Bible Class.

Whatever the reason, there are many in life who are so comfortable with their lives that they have not the inclination to be bothered by the problems of the victims of life.

And so they choose to “pass by on the other side”.

Life is the Jericho Road:

There are some in life who actually have compassion.

There are some in life who may actually have sincere pity for the plight of others.

And these folk may very well be society’s misfits themselves.

They may be minorities.

They may be “illegals”.

They may be openly Gay.

They may be Atheists.

They may be worse yet:  Liberals.

Whatever they are, they certainly can be no lower on the scale of “conventional society” than was the Samaritan in the parable as told by Jesus.

The Samaritans were scum in the eyes of the Jewish society of Jesus’ day.

Kind of like minorities are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

Kind of like “illegals” are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

Kind of like Homosexuals are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

Kind of like Atheists are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

And kind of like Liberals are all too oftentimes regarded in our society.

Indeed there are Samaritans on life’s Jericho Road.

Good Samaritans.

Good people.

People who actually care.

For such is what set the Good Samaritan apart from the Priest and the Levite.

The Samaritan differed no more from the Priest and the Levite than minorities, “illegals”, the LGBT community, the Atheists, and the Liberals differ from conventional society today.

So what did set the Samaritan apart from his religious counterparts in “The Parable of Those Who Wish to Justify Themselves”?

He had compassion.

He had mercy.

He actually cared.

Jesus said it, not me:  “Go and do likewise.”

Life is the Jericho Road.

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