Tonight I was leading a group at church studying the Gospel of Luke. We were discussing the parable of the Good Samaritan and I was encouraging everyone to look for more in the story than the traditional "morality play" presented in Sunday School and VBS.
That's when we all had an "ah-hah" moment, courtesy of some observations by Scott M. He said that as he was reviewing this very familiar scripture before class he asked himself why the Samaritan in the story was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. That is a long way from Samaria. The Samaritan was in hostile territory, given the traditional enmity between the Samaritans and the Jews. What was he doing there?
Then it occured to him: Jesus is the Samaritan in the parable.
Jesus was a stranger--the son of God--in a hostile enviornment. He reaches out in compassion to the man in need of rescue when the religious people ignored him. Notice that the man's nationality isn't identified. We don't know whether he was a Jew, a Roman, a Greek or fellow Samaritan, which emphasizes that Jesus came to save both Jews and Gentiles. The Samaritan in the story saves the injured man and purchases his well-being by paying the innkeeper. Similarly, Jesus purchased our salvation with his blood on the cross.
What do YOU think? Could Jesus be the Samaritan?