Ep 3:  The Good Samaritan

Ep 3: The Good Samaritan

Once again we turn to the Gospel of Luke, as we turn to another of the most
famous parables of Jesus – the one we know as ‘The Good Samaritan’. Now technically it’s not a parable at all,
it is what they call an ‘exemplum’ – which is a Latin word that means ‘example’. In other words a little story given to us
to present an example for us to, “Go and do like wise”, as Jesus says at the very end to the man who
has been questioning him. Now like all the parables of Jesus it starts
in a world that was very familiar, at least to his listeners. And that is the road going from Jerusalem
down through the Judaean Desert, heading towards Jericho. This was a much, much traveled road and familiar
to all of those to whom Jesus is speaking. And it was also quite a dangerous journey
as you came down from Jerusalem, down through the desert in towards Jericho, there were robbers and all kinds of
dangers and pitfalls. So it’s a world that his listeners would
have known well and Jesus takes that familiar world and
turns it on it’s head, in a quite dramatic way. Because for the Jews, Samaritans were absolute
outcasts, they would have nothing to do with them. So you have to understand what the relationship
between Jews and Samaritans was – it was toxic. So Jesus takes that toxic relationship, plays
with it in the parable in order to subvert conventional
understandings of the Kingdom of God, and to generate new and brilliant insight
into what the kingdom actually is and how we might experience it in new and deeper ways.

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