But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 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. The next day he took out two denarii 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.’
— LUKE 10:33–35
The Good Samaritan understood that people are in a hurry on the road to Jericho. That is why he stopped when he saw a man in trouble. It’s imperative to stop when we see a
need. Interventions are rarely predictable. They are messy and often dangerous. The incident with the man on the road to Jericho was not a feel-good fix; it was a holistic intervention.
The travellers on the road had enough resources to help the victim but not the will. Looking back to when the Tabernacle was being built, the people of Israel had the will to provide what was needed. So much so that “… the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work (Exodus 36:6-7).” There is always provision enough to help people in need where there is a desire to see and to respond.
The Good Samaritan recognized that he did not have the capacity to care for the wounded man on his own. He enlisted the help of the innkeeper, who presumably understood the need of the wounded sojourner, and was willing to respond. The innkeeper and the Samaritan created a synergetic bond.
Everyone should look for an innkeeper to complete the triangle of help. Together, the innkeeper and Samaritan created a relationship for the sake of the man’s restoration. The innkeeper was empowered to be a full-fledged partner and became an ally in the cause. As a result, he had a sense of ownership in the decisions regarding the care of the victim.
The priest and the Levite missed the divine encounter; both saw the wounded man, yet decided not to help. The Samaritan and his partner forged an ongoing network that strengthened the cause of justice for the traveller who had ventured down the road to Samaria. With compassionate hearts working together, there was enough to meet the need.
1. How do I respond to people with needs? How do trust and faith in God’s provision impact my willingness to respond?
2. How does this concept of working together inform my perspective on helping those in need?
Richard Reichert, along with his wife, Hope, served as C&MA International Workers in three Latin American countries over a span of 34 years.