Parables of Jesus: The Parable of the Good Samaritan

A parable is a brief story that teaches a moral or spiritual lesson by comparing it to our everyday life. Jesus Christ while on earth, loved to tell good stories to make relevant points. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is one of most famous parables of Jesus. He used it to foster unity and love between people in those days.

Parable of the Good Samaritan
El bon_samarità (1838), de_Pelegrí Clavé i Roquer

Who is my neighbor?

“Love your neighbor as yourself” was part of the Old Testament Law (Leviticus 19:18) that was sacred to Jesus’ kinfolk, the Jews. But, many people in those days thought a “neighbor” meant just and only their fellow Jews.

One day a lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” To answer this question and ensure it lingers in the minds of everyone, Jesus had to tell the Story of The Good Samaritan.

The parable  of the good  Samaritan  in details

The group of man attacks Jewish man

There was a certain Jewish man making a journey from Jerusalem heading to Jericho, which was estimated to be a  two days journey by foot. The road to Jericho was bumpy and rocky with various small hills scattered around. The man was just humming to himself and enjoying the journey when a group of men suddenly attacked him. They made away with all of his belongings, beat him so badly till he went into unconsciousness; leaving him lying and bleeding by the side of the road.

Two clergymen  ignore the injured man

A few moments later, a clergyman (A priest) was walking down the same path and noticed the man lying haplessly by the side of the road. He ignored the injured man in that terrible state and quickly crossed to the other side of the road and walked away. About an hour or so later, another man a Levite this time also a clergyman, was walking down that same path. But Instead of helping this injured man, he only walked a little closer to the man, inspected and probably concluded the injured man was a criminal and at such needed no help and compassion. He decided to walk away and let the man to His fate.

There were thoughts by scholars that proposed that the reason the clergymen ignored the man lying by the roadside was probably, they felt the Man was either mentally deranged or he was just sleeping by the roadside. But those assumptions are wrong because it was easy to tell he was badly hurt. The man was bleeding, his clothes ripped off, and he was bruised and barely breathing.

Good Samaritan helps the Jew man

Parables of Jesus
Aime Morot Le bon Samaritan

About the same time, another man was walking by that same path. He was a Samaritan, those days, Samaritans were hated, disregarded and discriminated against by the Jews. The Jews usually didn’t treat Samaritans very well, so in a nutshell, Samaritans were not in the good books of the Jews, and hence, they never got along well.

It is also important to note that, the man who was badly hurt and dying by the road was a Jew. This, however, did not stop the Samaritan from taking compassion on the Jew and helping him. The moment he set his eyes on this dying man, he went straight to him and felt pity for him, put bandages on his wounds, poured oil and ointments (which were quite expensive) on his wounds to stop the bleeding. He quickly lifted the injured man, put him on his donkey and took him straight away to an Inn (A Hospital in today’s case) for a proper treatment and care.

The following day, the Samaritan made enough money available to the caregivers so the man could stay at the hospital until he was well enough to leave and ensured he lacked nothing.  And told them categorically, that if he wasn’t better after a while, He would come back and pay for any extra cost of treatment.


1. The story of the good Samaritan

The parable of the Good Samaritan is a Story told by Jesus in the book of Luke 10:25–37. It was a traveler who is stripped of his belongings, beaten, and left for dead along the roadside. First, it was a priest and then a Levite who came by, but both ignored the man and refused to help him. Finally, a Samaritan who was also on a journey saw the injured man, took compassion on Him, tended to his Injuries, took him to a hospital and paid his bills till he was well again.

2. Who is a Good Samaritan?

The good Samaritan
David Teniers theYounger, Studio of (after Francesco Bassano) The Good_Samaritan 1650-1656

A Good Samaritan is someone who endeavors to help people who are in some difficulty or the other. This first usage of the phrase comes from a story in the Bible where a Samaritan man helped someone who was robbed, beaten and injured while he was making a journey; even though others would not help him.

The conclusion is that the neighbors figure in the parable is the man who shows mercy and compassion to anyone going through hard or difficult times—that is, the Samaritan

3. What does the “modern good Samaritan” look like?

A picture is worth a thousand words. So, take a look at the social experiment and find an answer.

What do you think about parables of Jesus? What Jesus tried to tell us in the Parable of the Good Samaritan? Please, leave your thoughts below.

4 Replies to “Parables of Jesus: The Parable of the Good Samaritan”

  1. Thank you for a great article about Jesus the Parable of a Good Samaritan. Could you imagine if all children throughout the world were taught this from birth? Anyways, you have to help people in need when you can. It’s why were here! Thanks again for a good article.


    1. Hi Jack

      Thank you for pleasant words. I am glad you like my article. As catechist I often use Jesus’ parables. Children like them because they are easily remembered. On the other hand  parables teach us a simple moral lessons for daily life. 

      If you want to see the list of all Jesus’ parables read an article Why Did Jesus Use Parables to Teach?

      God bless you


  2. Thank you for the great explanation into this parable. I wish these parables were taught more all around. It amazes me, the number of people that still don’t understand these parables despite the wealth of information on them. Many, including myself, could do good from remembering the great lessons there are in these parables. We should always remember to help one another!

    1. Parables are simple and understandable stories with a deep meaning. Why we don’t understand them? Because we “look but don’t see and hear but don’t listen and understand”. You are right, we should remember to help other people but the key question in the parable of good Samaritan is who is my neighbour. Usually we are willing to offer the help to our friends, parents, children …But we should love our adversaries as well. And here is difference between God’s love and people’s love.

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