The Only Good Samaritan...


This Sunday those who follow the lectionary will travel down that well worn road from Jerusalem to Jericho in the company of the so-called "Good Samaritan". What follows is a short excerpt from a longer show entitled "I Witness" which I wrote a number of years ago for New Irish Arts. It looks at this all too familiar story through the eyes of Simon, the Samaritan who had suffered from leprosy before Jesus healed him and nine others, and Jacob, a Pharisee.

Simon: Jesus healed me of leprosy… But he didn’t heal me easily of my prejudices… I was still suspicious of Jews… Just as Jews are of us…
Jacob: I have nothing against Samaritans… as individuals… But they are heretics… sadly misguided…
Simon: Even his disciples didn’t like us much… Apparently on one occasion, some of my countrymen weren’t very hospitable to them on the way to Jerusalem, and they were all for calling down fire from heaven to wipe the offending village off the map… I never heard they so keen to wipe out the many Jewish villages who would not open their doors to them… But he didn’t seem to share any of the age old prejudices…
Jacob: I’m not prejudiced… But on the one occasion I asked him a direct question, he launched into one of his ridiculous stories, this time with a Samaritan as a hero…
Simon: One of the Pharisees asked him: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jacob: First he tried to dodge the question by answering with another question “What is written in the Law?”
Simon: This one really knew his stuff… He immediately quoted the two great commandments in the Law:
Jacob: “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.” I had been over the same ground with other rabbis…
Simon: The master seemed to be impressed and said “Correct! Do that and you will live.”
Jacob: But I wasn’t going to let him off that easily, so I asked him, “And who is my neighbour?” And that is where he told the story of some idiot who was walking through bandit country between Jerusalem and Jericho…
Simon: The man was ambushed and robbed, stripped, beaten and left for dead…
Jacob: A priest and then a levite happened to be passing by… They must have been as mad as the first man… But they weren’t stupid enough to stop, for fear of ending up the same way…
Simon: But then came a Samaritan, who tended to the man’s wounds, got him to a place of safety and paid for his board and lodgings while he was recovering… Then the master asked the Pharisee “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
Jacob: And I said “The one who had mercy on him.”
Simon: He couldn’t even bring himself to say the Samaritan…
Jacob: But what did that prove… How likely was that to happen?
Simon: A Jew telling a story in which there is a good Samaritan…
Jacob: The only good Samaritan I have ever heard of…


ps. Kim Fabricius has quite an interesting take on the same passage over at Connexions...



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Woman of no Distinction

An Epistle To Our Elected Leaders

A Psalm for Sunday: Praise to the Lord who Listens...