Questions about the Parable of the Good Samaritan

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external aspect of the parable of the Good Samaritan is a teaching concerning true charity. The inner meaning is a wonderful description of the ministry of Jesus Christ, and the effects of the incarnation on the state of man. At the time of year we read this parable, we are close to the Nativity Fast, which prepares us for the commemoration of the incarnation.


A lawyer was a Jewish teacher, a so-called expert in the Law of Moses. The lawyer was one of many who asked questioned in order to trip up Jesus, in order to find some basis on which to judge him, and have Him done away with. The lawyer's answer to Jesus' question is remarkable, because he quotes two passages of scripture from separate books of the law, and in so doing, binds them as one, cohesive thought. The passages he quotes are from Deuteronomy and Leviticus:

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: {5} And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. {6} And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: {7} And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. {8} And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. {9} And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. " (Deu 6:4-9)

"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD. " (Lev 19:18)

The lawyer must have heard of Jesus teaching, and was repeating it.


The parable Jesus relates answers the question "Who is my neighbor", and provides and elegant description of true charity. The deeper meaning and hidden teaching is given by the symbolism of the events and characters in the parable.

The "certain man" is Adam and al his descendants - all of mankind. This parable is describing man's condition and the means of his restoration. There is much to this tale, as our sickness is grave, and not healed easily or all at once.

the word "Jerusalem" is interpreted "Vision of peace", and has always indicated the heavenly state. The man was headed to Jericho, which is in the valley away from Jerusalem, and indicates, as Blessed Theophylact teaches, that he was traveling to: "a place sunk down low and suffocating with heat, that is, to life of passions". The tense of the verb is "going down", not "went" down". This trip, from Jerusalem to Jericho, then represents our fallen human nature, which is continuously going down towards a passionate life, if not for the mercy and help of God.




Lack of charity Priest - the law Levite - the prophets


The Samaritan is Jesus Christ.


Oil - mercy


Inn - the church.


Inkeeper - the clergy.


Second coming.

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