A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went off leaving him half-dead.
And by chance a certain priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion. So the Samaritan, who called himself “Christian”, came to him and wanted to offer him aid, but first he bent down and said:
“Excuse me, but have you done something wicked or have you lived sinfully before God in order that you are being punished for your evil ways? I don’t want to interfere with God’s judgment on you by helping you if you are getting what you justly deserve.”
The beaten man groaned and bled more profusely, but was silent.
“Oh well,” said the Samaritan, who proceeded to pull out bandages. He tore strips of cloth and was about to tie up the bleeding man’s wounds, but first he asked:
“If I save your life, are you just going to go back out into the world and live in an ungodly way? What if I save your life and it turns out you hurt or kill someone later? Or what if you steal from my own kinsmen? I don’t want to save a life that will only hurt others in the future!”
The man continued to bleed, but was still unable to speak.
The Samaritan, who called himself “Christian”, laid down the bandages and took out oil and wine to pour on the silent man’s wounds. He looked at the wine and said, “Or what if you are an alcoholic or addict and will just ruin the life I am trying so hard to save? If you are an alcoholic or an addict, I would be wasting my time trying to help you.”
The Samaritan looked up at his beast and down the road toward the nearby inn. He said, a little more loudly than before, “And what if I take you upon my own beast and deliver you down to the innkeeper, and tell him to give you whatever need and charge it to me? How do I know you will not run up a huge bill and stick me with it? And what if you take the room I paid for and invite your girlfriend down and fornicate in the room I provided? Or even worse, what if you are a sodomite and use my good graces to have a place for your ungodly practices? God would curse me for helping you!!” The Samaritan, who called himself “Christian”, looked down and said, “How do I know that you are the kind of person that God would have me show compassion on?”
But the beaten man was silent, his eyes fixed and staring at the heavens, his breath gone, his body slowly growing cold.
The Samaritan got up quickly and continued on his way rejoicing; and thanking his god that he was spared the dishonor of giving aid and showing compassion upon someone who was surely undeserving of it. And the Samaritan’s god, who is the god-of-the-self-righteous, smiled his leathery smile and flicked his tail and laughed, knowing that people who are full of themselves will never, ever be full of God’s Spirit of Love and Mercy and Compassion.
We forget that the priest and the Levite passed by on the other side not because they were evil men, but because touching the supposedly dead stranger would have made them unclean by Mosaic Law. And they were more concerned about there own righteousness and purity than they were about a stranger’s distress. We cannot be like that and call ourselves “Christian”!
Feed the hungry, comfort the sick, clothe the naked, shelter the cold and outcast without judging them. Do it simply because they are human beings and Jesus died for them just like he died for you and me. And perhaps our acts of Love, Mercy, and Compassion will reach their hearts and give God the chance to touch them within and, just perhaps, begin a change in their lives. Offer Mercy, leave judgment to God. -Bill