The Dong Man and the Samaritan

If, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, a Jew was asking Jesus who his neighbor was, then why did Jesus not make the injured man a Samaritan and the one who helped him a Jew? Would that have not been a better way to show the Jewish listener a good example of who his neighbor was?

If he had not switched the story around and it was a Jew doing the good deed, it would much more easily have just been a story with another Jewish hero, enough to evoke pride but not a humble and repentant response in practical life. Instead, Jesus wants the listener to feel he is in the place of the one lying on the road, not the hero but the victim.

Of course, if lying half dead on the road, few of us would cringe about who helped us, we would just accept the help. So, when we are not the ones lying on the road, we should use the same distinction in determining who our neighbor is.

The Dong people often live in close proximity to the Miao people. In some areas, the two groups are friendly enough to use each others language in the market, but in the majority of areas, they walk the same trails, but share no love for each other. Each group looks down upon the other. The Gospel cannot thrive in such a situation.

We need to pray for the Dong and the Miao to receive the good news of Christ. As they begin to read and hear this passage, ask for the Lord to prick their hearts and lead them to cross a barrier they have never crossed. Let us pray that the Dong will reach out to the hurting Miao and the Miao will show love to their Dong brothers.

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