Jesus continues by addressing the Greatest Commandments and demonstrating how to invoke the Holy Spirit with the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
IIIb THE GREATEST COMMANDMENTS
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
֎ To demonstrate these responsibilities, Jesus selects a situation that has confrontational aspects to it: the story of the Good Samaritan.
IIIc THE GOOD SAMARITAN
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.
36 “Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37
He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
֎ While still within the Jewish faith, Samaritans had a set of differences with Jews that was deep rooted and reflected a class difference in Israel. There were several religious differences between Samaritans and Jews. Just one example had to do with the role of the Savior:
The Samaritans await “The Restorer”, whom they call the Taheb—a prophet who will establish a period of peace and justice. The Jews, of course, awaited the Messiah, who would overthrow the Romans and give them back their land.
These differences, while seemingly minute to some, were the basis for a division that existed between Jews and Samaritans for thousands of years and still separates them today. Figuratively speaking, today the Samaritan would be a member of a black activist group and the beaten man would be a white supremacist.