A Retelling of the Good Samaritan
Jesus was gathered with a crowd of people when suddenly an expert in religious law decided to stand up and test him. Jesus tells the man that loving God and loving your neighbor are the most important of God’s laws but the expert wanted to know who qualified as his neighbor. Jesus told a story about a man left for dead, and how someone most hated was the one to stop and rescue the man. Jesus answered the expert’s question by teaching that being a loving neighbor was more important than asking who was worthy of love.
A man was walking from Jerusalem down the hill to Jericho when he was savagely attacked and left for dead by bandits. No one–even a priest and temple assistant–would stop by to save the man from certain death. When it looked like no help would come, an outsider that everyone else despised, stopped to help the man. This outsider spent his time, energy, and money on the wounded man, who probably despised him also, to prove that love is greater than hate.
Every story can be broken down into a few parts. The setting, where the story takes place and why it might be important. The characters and their emotions and thoughts invested in the story. A tension that needs resolved. A resolution that brings us through the tension, and a through line (aka main idea) that carries the story through from beginning to end.
The Through Line
Why has this story endured?
What is true for them then that is still true for us today?
How does this story help us love God?
How does this story help us love others?