A lawyer stood and tried to trick Jesus.
“Master, what do I need to do to gain eternal life?” he asked.
“What does the law say? What do you think?” asked Jesus, turning the question back to the conspiring lawyer.
“Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind,” quickly answered the lawyer. “And love your neighbor as yourself.”
“You have answered correctly,” said Jesus with an approving nod. “Do these things and you will have eternal life.”
But the lawyer wasn’t done yet.
“Yes, but who is my neighbor?” the lawyer asked with a cocky smile.
Jesus looked at the man and began a parable.
“There once was a man who traveled from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was attacked by thieves, who stole his clothes and beat him, leaving him half dead.
A priest traveled the same road. When he saw the wounded man, the priest stayed on his side and walked by.
A Levite also traveled that road, looked at the wounded man, then continued on his way.
Finally, a Samaritan traveled the road. When he saw the wounded traveler, he had compassion on the man. The Samaritan went to the beaten man and bandaged him, put the wounded on the Samaritan’s own donkey, and brought him to an inn. The Samaritan cared for the wounded traveler all night. In the morning, the Samaritan gave money to the master of the inn.
“This is for the wounded man. Whatever more you spend to get him better, I will pay you when I come again,” the Samaritan said to the master of the inn.
Now I ask you, which was a neighbor to the man who was ambushed?” asked Jesus at the end of the parable.
“The one that showed compassion,” said the lawyer, somewhat defeated.
“Go and do the same,” said Jesus with finality.