The story of the Good Samaritan is pretty well known, but we might be able to boil it down to a collection of attitudes. Note these different attitudes toward the wounded man.
- To the expert in the law, the wounded man was a subject to discuss.
- To the robbers, the wounded man was someone to use and exploit.
- To the religious men, the wounded man was a problem to be avoided.
- To the innkeeper, the wounded man was a customer to serve for a fee.
- To the Samaritan, the wounded man was a human being worth being cared for and loved.
- To Jesus, all of them and all of us were worth dying for.
Confronting the needs of others brings out various attitudes in us. Jesus used the story of the good but despised Samaritan to make clear which attitude was acceptable to him. If we are honest, we often will find ourselves in the place of the expert in the law, needing to learn again who our neighbor is.