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"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Luke 10:27

What is the first adjective you first think of to describe a Samaritan? No doubt it would be "good". However, in Jewish culture, good would be last word to describe Samaritans. "The Jews hate and despise the Samaritans with the greatest bitterness." Jewish Encyclopedia "The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." John 4:9 "And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem." Luke 9:52-53 "Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?" John 8:48

With so much contempt towards Samaritans, why do we now associate the word "good" with Samaritans? All because of the actions of one man - THE good Samaritan. The story is in Luke 10. We all know how it goes. But, consider the actions of this Samaritan. He was busy doing some sort of business, then he saw this half dead Jew lying on the road. Out of compassion, he helped the Jew. Most likely he was not thinking that anyone would even take notice of his kindness. But word of what he did eventually reached Jesus. And Jesus was so impressed with his actions that he used him as an illustration of how to love your neighbor. Because of the actions of one Samaritan, he changed forever how people around the world view Samaritans.

In our lives, a single action borne out of love can have more far reaching consequences than we can ever imagine. Even when no one is watching. Or if we won't get paid back for what we do. Or if we do it to someone who doesn't deserve our love. If our small actions are done with with love, the impact can be profound.

Posted: 2005-02-24 07:03:00

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