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Trump: The Good Samaritan

Even if we don’t know anything about the parable of the Good Samaritan, we certainly use the term quite a bit and probably have different definitions of what it means in modern times. However, let’s start by reading the parable together.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “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. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 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. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

The parable has many interpretations but one common one we use in modern times is that  good Samaritan is a person who does good deeds out of compassion and not because of any hope of reward.

This interpretation changes a bit when you realize that Samaritans (i.e., those from the country of Samaria) were the enemies of the Jewish peoples during the first century. While the beaten man might have expected the priest or the Levite to help him, it was actually his enemy, a Samaritan, who took pity on him, gave him first aid, loaded him on a donkey, and took him to an inn.

Not only that but the Samaritan saysLook after him and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ In addition to going the extra mile to ensure the continued care of the traveler, some have interpreted this line as a veiled threat as the Samaritan says he will return and expects that the traveler will have been cared for.

This brings us to one of the great parable tellers of our generation: Rudy Guilliani [Note 1]

Could it be that the person the Iranian people have seen as their enemy might actually turn out to be their good Samaritan?

The last two lines of the parable are:

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

One interpretation is that the lawyer was unable to even use the world Samaritan since the country was so reviled. In the same way, might the people of Iran stop chanting “death to America” and begin to see the United States as a frienemy? Time will tell, of course, but as Scott Adams notes –President Trump has once again shaken the box and gives us a new potential for peace in the region. Or WWIII.

[Note 1] Not really but I needed a segue.

 
Mark Rosneck

Written by Mark Rosneck

Site owner and bilagáana

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