IT WOULD BE a rare thing to know one person that doesn’t know the story of the Good Samaritan. The parable was told by Jesus after an expert of the Law tested Jesus by asking, “…what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
The story revolves around how several different people treat a man who was attacked by a band of robbers and left for dead. Two Jewish, religious leaders pass by the severely injured man, but both decide to continue on their way without getting involved, each running excuses through their minds to justify their callousness. They even went so far as to go to the opposite side of the road to avoid getting near him.
One man, however, does stop to help the man. He happened to be a Samaritan, an ethnoreligious offshoot (so-to-speak) of the Hebrews that followed the teachings of the Torah and considered their faith to be the true faith of the Hebrews. The mainstream Jewish leaders considered them to be basically heretics. So the Samaritans were treated with disdain by the more numerous Jews. Most people think that the Samaritans were from Samaria, but in reality the Samaritans were Hebrews who followed Samaritanism, and the Jews followed Judaism. There’s more to that story but you can read it later HERE.
The term “Good Samaritan” has been used for a very long time to refer to anyone who helps someone in trouble regardless of the other’s religious background or political opinions – they just help because they have mercy on the person in trouble.
Most people have experienced the helping hand of the Good Samaritan at least one time in their lives. We almost assume that if there is trouble of any kind, there will be SOMEONE nearby who will see the trouble and just automatically help, without thought to personal safety or worrying if it a convenient time to help or not.
I think this assumption is why there was such shock at the story coming out of Hartford, Connecticut today.
should shock all of us.
An elderly man is hit by a car, which then flees the scene, and although the street is full of cars driving to and fro and pedestrians lining the sidewalks, NOT ONE PERSON goes to the aid of the man in the street.
Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts was quoted as saying, “We no longer have a moral compass… We have no regard for each other…”
That’s definitely got to be the understatement of the year and a severe indictment of the state of a society without mercy.
Has this society gotten so far away from everything that is good and merciful that a 78 year old man in critical condition can lay in the street and no one cares enough to stop and help him? What were the people who were witnessing this thinking? “Oh, Well… Survival of the Fittest…”???
The police chief had it right. Many people now have no moral compass… no regard for others. They go to work, make their money, and then hurry home to watch American Idol or Dancing with the Stars… while their neighbor lays in the street.
Lord, plant deep in our hearts a true religion that reaches out with love to help those in need and help us glorify you with our attitudes and actions toward our fellow man.