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29.03.2016 Feature Article

You Are The "Good Samaritan"

You Are The
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The popular story of the "Good Samaritan" needs no repetition here. It is important though to appreciate its symbolic and practical aspects, which all parables are expected to convey, moreso when Easter has just been celebrated to commemorate the death of that great Teacher.

The core issue here is to reason for yourself as often as possible and do to others (your neighbor) as you would like them do to you, apart from tithing, in order to please God.

Note that it is to explain this very "neighbor" that invoked the parable of the Good Samaritan". Simply put, one's neighbor is any other human being; and by Christ's teachings you are to do to them the same goodness (or wickedness, if you please) to the best of your ability, if you were in their shoes, that will maje you happy.

Note the conformity of this to the "Golden Rule" that Christ gave as the summation of Christianity.

".... And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

(Mark 12:30-1)
Love your neighbor as yourself implies that you have first loved yourself before extending it to another. It also means you do not "kill" yourself for another for any reason, unless you have a good reason to tell God that he made a mistake in creating you, or you genuinely feel that it is what you would have expected another to do for you if you had been in that condition.

The other essential thing that needs understanding in this parable is the independent mature reasoning expected of Christians. It is Sunday so your worship is very important to you and God; however here is Christ telling you to make the helping of the injured more important than the worship! Is Christ wrong? If so, then he must also be wrong when he advised that caring for the sick and prisoners is how one cares for God.

So emulate the parabolic good Samaritan, reach out to the needy to help as best as you can. It is because of these neighbors, known and unknown, that your life is defined; in other words, life without other humans is as drab and hollow as or even worse than an empty room.

VBTP 15

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