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Why is the Good Samaritan parable so popular?

"But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.” Luke 10:33

            The term “good Samaritan” has become an iconic phrase used to identify a stranger who stopped to help another person in need, fixing their car, giving them money, getting them help.  What was unusual about Jesus’ parable is that he used a Samaritan as the hero.  Samaritans were the enemies of the Jews, looked down upon and scorned.  It would be like talking to a Republican crowd and sharing a story about the wonderful thing a Democrat did.  The first response would be “Democrats do nice things?”  Or if you were talking to a group of Islamic terrorists and saying what a nice thing a Jewish man did.  Get the point?

            Jesus wanted to show that kindness and mercy must be shown to those in need, never taking into consideration any labels you would place on them, based on political affiliation, sexual preference, gender, age, ethnic background or college football team.  Humans should help humans and be neighborly by loving them.  Jesus finished the parable by saying, “Go and do likewise.”  That had to rattle some cages.