Why Did Jesus tell the Story of the Good Samaritan?

I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told parables through them.” Hosea 12:10 NIV

God in the Old Testament spoke to the people through prophets using parables. Jesus, being a “Prophet”, used this method to communicate certain lessons to the audience of His day. One of such parables that was told by Jesus was that of the Good Samaritan. What was the parable about?

A certain lawyer who asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Since the lawyer wanted to know “what to do,” Jesus gave him a summary of the law, ““‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” And in trying to justify himself, he asked Jesus a question, “Who is my neighbor?” This prompted the story of the Good Samaritan.

The Jews of the day did not regard the Samaritans and would not want anything to do with a Samaritan, more so, a doctor of the law. So, Jesus told this story, in response to the question by the lawyer about who he should consider and relate with as his neighbor, in this case, a Samaritan.

Jesus did not tell the story to teach us about brotherly kindness or good neighborliness but to show the lawyer how impracticable it was to perfectly keep the law, because that lawyer would never have accepted a Samaritan as his neighbor, much more the Samaritan being the good neighbour as Jesus flipped it in that parable (Luke 10:25-37).

When people approached Jesus from a legalistic viewpoint, He gave them the law in its purist standard to show men how impossible it is to obtain righteousness by the law.

The Bible says that the law cannot justify (Galatians 2:16, Rom 3:28), rather it accuses (John 5:45) and gives sin-consciousness (Romans 3:20).

We can only receive the righteousness of God by grace through faith. It is not of works, lest any man boasts (Romans 3:22-24,28; Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-9).

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