On a road from Jerusalem to Jericho a traveler is mugged, robbed, and left to die. Jesus says that not only one but two individuals of high standing representing the community see the injured man and refuse to help, even crossing to the other side of the road to avoid him.
Ah, but then comes a Samaritan – a lowly and disrespected tribe of the day – who stops to help the man. Jesus says pointedly, “…he had compassion on him…”
Virginia Harris, C.S.B
BY THE ROADSIDE
From the July 1918 issue of The Christian Science Journal
True religion can find its church by the roadside as well as in a church edifice. When a neighbor has fallen among thieves, the good Samaritan, unlike the priest and the Levite, straightway binds up the wounds, pours in the oil of gladness and the wine of inspiration, sets the disabled one on his beast and takes him to the inn for protection. This ever readiness to help and heal is greatly needed in the world to-day, and is finding much to do by the roadside. The most efficient work transcends the trammels of what the world believes to be efficiency. Christian Science does not wait for permission from material sense nor from mortal law in order to be useful, but rises to its task guided by Spirit. Obedience to God, gratitude, and compassion are working marvels while scholasticism disputes about nonessentials and loses itself in unimportant details.
The strength of the Samaritan and of his spiritual brother the publican lay in this, that they were willing to be counted of men among sinners. The desire to be counted as saints leads the Levite and the Pharisee to seek the approval of men and to forget God. Jesus was unsparing in his denunciations of this type of sin, and used vehement language and action against it when he drove the money changers out of the temple and when he denounced the Pharisees: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.” Of the disputing, hairsplitting type of mind which tries to exclude every one from entering into spiritual understanding he declared: “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”