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Luke 10:25-35 contains one of the most famous parables that Jesus gave. It is the parable of the "Good Samaritan." This parable seeks to answer the question: “who is my neighbor?” The implicit presupposition of this parable is that people usually define neighbor too narrowly. Therefore, the goal of Jesus’ parable is to challenge our view of what it means to be a neighbor.
From a historical point of view, Samaritans and Jews hated each other. They even had rival religions that claimed the other was false. The story of Jesus and the Samaritan women in John 4 is a little window into the animosity between the two groups. A quick reading of John 4:1-37 may provide some good historical insights.
In Luke 10:25-35, a Jewish man is traveling to Jericho and is ambushed by a group of bandits. He is left for dead. At first a priest walks by and does not offer help. A little later a Levite passes by and offer no help as well. Finally, a Samaritan walks by, but this time this Samaritan stops by and not only offers help, but takes this wounded man and brings him to an inn and even pays for his stay until he is well.
The point of the story is powerful, because the people who should have helped (a priest and a Levite) do not. Instead, the least likely person helps. In this way, Jesus redefines who a neighbor and what a person must do to inherit eternal life (Luke 10:25-27).
Everyone is your neighbor. According to Webster's dictionary it is a noun and the number 2 definition is fellow man. Many people confine the definition of neighbor to those in close proximity. That is a very narrow definition.
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