In his sermon today, the famous Galilean prophet, Jesus of Nazareth, told the story of a man who, while traveling between Jerusalem and Jericho, was set upon by thieves, robbed, and left for dead. This unfortunate refugee was seen lying on the side of the road by a priest and then a Levite, both of whom passed by on the other side.
But then came a Samaritan. He, too, saw the desperate man lying there unable to help himself, and was moved with compassion.
But then he started to think. The man looked a little swarthy. Could it be that he was a refugee from Egypt or even, God forbid, from Syria? Everybody knew those Syrians couldn’t be trusted. In fact this man was probably just pretending to need help, while his fellow thieves lay hidden just waiting for some overly compassionate do-gooder to come along and try to take care of him.
Having thought the situation through very carefully, the Samaritan decided that although he was really a very compassionate person, it would simply be taking too much of a chance with his own safety to offer help to this person who seemed in such desperate need of aid. Besides, it wasn’t really his responsibility. Let the man’s own people take care of him.
Feeling that he was doing the prudent thing, the Samaritan decided it was too dangerous to even pass by on the other side of the road. So, he turned around and swiftly ran back the way he had come.
Needless to say, in recounting the moral of this story, Jesus commended the young Samaritan for his wisdom in realizing that his own safety was the most important consideration, and was not to be foolishly risked out of concern for the plight of someone less fortunate than himself.
Matthew 25:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in.