“Go and do likewise” To get eternal life!
The enmity among people of today is not new; it existed, and still, it exists in the world since time immemorial. The hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans was prominent at the time when Jesus had His public ministry. The Jews considered Samaritans as half-gentiles, outcasts, and second-rate people as per the Jewish law because they indulged in racial intermarriage with foreign settlers.
Most of the Jews would never travel through Samaria at that time. Instead, they went by a longer route to avoid Samaria and always avoided any contact with Samaritans. It was no surprise that Jesus, along with his disciples, went through Samaria to reach Jerusalem. It was a challenge to the then existing law and practice in the land of Israel as most people declined to enter Samaria. The well-known conversation between Jesus and the unnamed Samaritan woman was heart touching and memorable.
En route to Jerusalem, Jesus met a Samaritan woman at Jacobs’ well who came there to collect water under the scorching sun at noon. She chose this time to collect water as she wanted to hide from the public, for she believed she led a sinful life. But Jesus foreknew it and His visit at this time to the well also predestined to meet this woman to offer her eternal life and forgive her sins. God knew that the Samaritan woman needed enlightenment and forgiveness in life, as God had a plan on her to save many other Samaritans from their perishing lives. Repentance is the last resort of a man to God’s forgiveness. No hypocrites can repent, and hence their supplications would never be answered. The Samaritan woman found the real water for lif eeternal life, and she explained the incident to many in the town. Our Lord Jesus acted here as a good Samaritan to rescue the Samaritan woman from her sorrows and troubles to give her a meaningful life in the world and a life after death.
In another context, Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan after he had been asked by a Jewish man: “What must I do to receive eternal life?” ‘Good Samaritan’ refers to a person who helps others in the act of kindness. A Jew was attacked and robbed and left him to his fate in the wilderness by his muggers. Later, a priest and a Levite passed by him, but they decided to walk away. For the priests and Levites, memorizing and fulfilling the ten commandments and attending to the temple duties are their priorities. They claim that they love God, but they do not consider it as their duty to help others. But a Samaritan, a born enemy of the Jews, who was on a journey, came to him and helped him to come back to life. Jesus chose the Samaritan in the parable to depict the love as being exhibited in the maxim ‘love your neighbor as your own.’ The good Samaritan took the risk and helped the Jew to get his life back. As we all know, God is love; He loves mankind unconditionally. To get eternal life, we must love the people and show mercy on the people who are in dire need and thus proclaim the everlasting message. God is our everlasting good Samaritan.
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