Lynn Cohick puts her finger on what’s so challenging about Jesus’ famous parable.
Jesus makes the Samaritan the ethical hero because he is, in that Jewish culture, the absolute anti-hero. I mean it’s the kind of thing where maybe even some Jews would say: I don’t want your help. I may be taking my last breath, but the last person I want to help me is a Samaritan. And Jesus is pushing his listeners, those Jews, to say, okay, well, I’m suggesting to you that each and every person has within them the capacity to do good, and to see others. Are you willing to not just give help to others, but also receive help from those who you thought really couldn’t give help to you? That’s a real … that parable of the Good Samaritan is challenging on all fronts.