One of the favorite slanders of Jesus by the Pharisees called him a “Samaritan” (John 8:48).
But in this parable Jesus touched that slander with the genius of his divinity and changed it into the most glorious encomium, an accolade of eternal praise.
They called him a Samaritan; very well, Jesus defined “Samaritan” for all generations in this incredibly beautiful parable.
THE PARABLES OF JESUS
The parables of Jesus are excellent beyond all excellence.
The hymns of Wesley, dramas of Shakespeare, novels of Scott, eloquence of Churchill, stories of O. Henry, philippics of Demosthenes and the scope of the ILIAD and the ODYSSEY are all surpassed and exceeded by the parables of Jesus.
“The Sextette” from “Lucia di Lammermoor,” the “Hallelujah Chorus,” the “Chant of the Pagan Priestess” from “Aida,” the marches of Sousa, and all the harmonies of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Handel NONE of these nor all of them are as beautiful as the parables of Jesus.
The whole world for nearly two millenniums has loved the parables.
They are the essence of all philosophical and moral wisdom, the distilled knowledge of all that characterizes human behavior, and the most influential words ever written.
They live in the hearts of millions, monitor the activities of all mankind, judge the secrets of men, reveal their motives, disclose their sins, and announce their destiny.
They are at once simple and profound.
The parable of the Good Samaritan has alone built a thousand hospitals, or a million; it has fed orphans, relieved the poor, and poured its blessings upon all the wretchedness and disease of this earth.
Thorvaldsen’s statue of the Good Samaritan symbolizes the relation of this parable to the science of medicine, but the connection with all the sciences of human service is just as real and dramatic.
If there is anything ever written that compares with the parables of Jesus, why does not someone identify it?
Good Samaritan hospitals all over the world honor this parable.
Where is its rival?
The conceit that a parable has only one point is a human device for the reduction of infinity to a smaller theater for the purpose of accommodating inadequate understanding of God’s word.
When man is bewildered, challenged, perplexed, and amazed at the scope of one of Jesus’ parables, he may console himself and reduce embarrassment by the allegation that, after all, there is only one point anyway!
The inability of men to agree on which is the “one point” proves there are many.
Jesus allegorized the Master Parable (Matthew 13:18f); and here is another parable of the same type, displaying the same quality of exciting analogies.