A parable you probably won't want to read

 
Carl Laferton | September 7th 2015

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

A priest happened to be going down the same road. When he saw the man, he said to him,

“This is a dangerous road, and you should have known that. If I help you, I’ll be encouraging others to travel this way, and they might get attacked, too. So to dissuade them, I’m going to leave you here.”

So he passed by on the other side.

So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, said to the man,

“The problem is that there aren’t enough business opportunities in Jerusalem, so you had to travel to Jericho. What we need to do is to focus on Jerusalem. If we can make its economy stronger over the next few years, there’ll no need to leave that city. I’ll speak to some people when I get back.”

And he passed by on the other side.

Next, a synagogue leader (in an addition to the original story that you may have heard before) came upon the man. He said,

“I’d love to stop and help, but my synagogue is holding a major evangelistic campaign, and I also need to sort out the songs we’re singing on Sunday. Plus I don’t have any spare cash because I give it to the church. And I’m behind on my small-group prep because we were on holiday in the South of France last week. I'll pray that someone else will help you – but I have to keep my priorities right.”

So he walked by on the other side.

But a radical Muslim, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out his credit card and set up a tab with the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and charge to my card any extra expense you may have.”

Jesus said … “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”  
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10 v 36-37)

Here's a useful article telling you how we can help those who are homeless, exploited, usually in the hands of robbers, and often beaten and bruised. Jesus doesn’t call them immigrants, or even refugees. He calls them neighbours.

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Picture: by Masser from Flikr under CC licence

 

Carl Laferton

Carl Laferton is EVP Publishing/Editorial Director at TGBC. He is the bestselling author of the kids' books The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross and The God Contest, and also serves as series editor of the God's Word For You series. Before joining TGBC, he worked as a journalist, a teacher, and pastored a congregation in Hull. Carl is married to Lizzie and they have two children, Benjamin and Abigail. He studied history at Oxford University.

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