The earliest memories I have are of my grandmother reading to us from the Bible. We would all huddle around her and choose either the Old or New Testament. She would open a random page and read the story or scripture that was on it and then explain to us the deeper meaning behind the written word.
It was a magical time for me not just because of the camaraderie I shared with my cousins and the love that abounded at Gram’s place, but also because most of the parables I heard became the commandments by which I lived my life.
My favorite of the lot is that of the Good Samaritan, the one who stops to help a Jewish stranger even though the man is the sworn enemy of the Samaritan. I particularly have a soft spot for this parable because of the lessons it teaches us…
* Don’t judge a book by its cover: The Good Samaritan belonged to a sect that was reviled and despised by the Jews. Yet, he was the only one who stopped to help and take him to relative safety.
This teaches us that we must not judge people for who they are or how they look; rather, we need to see deeper inside and know the kind of person they are before we evaluate them. In today’s world where there are wide disparities and prejudices because of race and color, the Good Samaritan is a parable that all of us need to read and understand.
* All that glitters is not gold: Before the Samaritan came that way, a priest and a Levite, both of whom were given high status in Jewish society, came across the fallen Jewish merchant. They knew he was one of their own, yet, they could not find it in them to show concern and kindness.
They left him to die without an iota of guilt as they went their own way. This shows us that just because something or someone glitters on the outside, it doesn’t mean that they’re good inside too.
* Do unto others as you would have them do unto you: And finally, the parable of the Good Samaritan reminds me every single day of my life that I must strive to better myself by helping other people and being kind to them.
It’s my guiding light on the path that leads to spiritual and emotional growth, and one that I believe leads me closer to Christ and his teachings. As I plod along this road, I aim to be a Good Samaritan myself in the lives of others.