This Week's Story

When thugs beat up a traveler, he is rescued by a man he despises.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Who's my neighbor?

My nephew Leighton is having a rough time dealing with pain, working to pay medical bills, and finishing a degree in engineering. After his recent motorcycle accident, I read this message on his Facebook wall: “Oh and & just for the record the chick that hit me drove off, and everyone that saw the accident did too, 4th and South in Salt Lake City, busy time of the day and no witnesses.”

Sad! Neither the person, who caused the accident, or any witness helped him. He managed with his cell phone to call a friend, who called an ambulance.

Leighton’s experience reminds me of a conversation Jesus had. A guy asked him, “What do I do to have a life after death?

Jesus replied, “What do the laws of Moses teach?”

The guy said, “They say I’m supposed to love God and love my neighbor as much as I love myself.”

“Right.”

“Yeah, but who’s my neighbor?”

So Jesus told the man a story.

A traveler was going through a dangerous area, where thugs often robbed people. He was stopped and brutally beaten into unconsciousness. His clothes were stripped off; his money stolen; and he lay bloodied on the roadside.

A second traveler came along. To his horror directly in his path was the injured man. The traveler did not stop. Without hesitation, he knew that he would mind “his own business.” He crossed the road and hurried away from the sight.

A third traveler came along. Across the street he saw the mangled body. He walked across the road and peered at the sight. How revolting the blood was! Quickly he returned to his side of the roadway and walked ahead rapidly.

Then a traveler, called Sam, came along. He obviously was of a different social class than the other men. When he saw the man sprawled in dirt and blood, he felt pity. He kneeled beside the man, looking at him carefully. What could he do to help him? From his first aid kit he took bandages and medicine, and began trying to relieve the wounded man’s agony.

He carefully took the man to a hotel in the next town, where food was available, but no hospital or doctor. So Sam cleaned and fed the man. He watched him through the night.

In the morning Sam asked the hotel manager, “Would you care for this man I brought in? Please feed him and let him stay here until he can travel to wherever he needs to go. I will give you enough money to cover all expenses.”

The two men, who walked past the beaten fellow, unwilling to help him, were his people. Sam was not one of them. He grew up knowing that they despised his people, called them “dogs.” Yet he, Sam, the outsider, felt pity and showed compassion.

After telling this story Jesus asked, “Of the three men which one acted as a neighbor to the man attacked by hoodlums?"

The reply was, “The man who showed mercy.”

And Jesus said, “Have the same attitude.”

My nephew Leighton could have used Sam’s help.

This is Barbara Steiner with the Bible story of “The Good Samaritan.” It has been famous for centuries and influenced many laws that protect people that help an injured stranger. Many organizations are named after this story. Please visit: thisweeksstory.com.

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