READ: One day a person asked Jesus what the most important thing in life was. Jesus said, “You already know.” The person replied, “I do. It is to love God and to love people just like they are your neighbors.” Not finished, the person then asked Jesus, “But who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then told him this parable. There was once someone who went from Jerusalem down to Jericho. As he went on his way, he was attacked by robbers. They hurt him, took everything he had, and left him half dead along the side of the road.
There was also a priest of the temple in Jerusalem who was traveling the same road. He came upon the poor traveler lying hurt on the side of the road, with all his belongings taken from him, left half dead. When the priest saw him, he went to the other side of the road and went on his way. Another person who worked at the temple helping the priests who was called a Levite came upon the poor man, still left on the side of the road half dead, with everything taken from him. The Levite, too, crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way.
There was also another person on the road, who lived not in Jerusalem, but in a country called Samaria. The people of Samaria did not like the people of Jerusalem, and the people of Jerusalem did not like people from Samaria. When the stranger saw the traveler who had been hurt, lying on the side of the road with everything taken from him, the stranger went over to him. He treated the traveler’s wounds with medicine, gave him his own coat to wear, put him on his donkey, and took him to a place to spend the night. In the morning, the stranger gave the innkeeper enough money so that the traveler could stay there until he was healthy again.
After telling the story, Jesus asked the person, “I wonder who is the neighbor to the person who was hurt, had everything taken from him, and was left by the side of the road?
WONDER: I wonder who is the neighbor to the person who was hurt, with all his belongings taken away, left by the side of the road?
I wonder what would happen if the person finding the injured traveler were a child?
I wonder what it means to be a neighbor?
I wonder who is the neighbor to the priest? to the Levite? to the Samaritan?
I wonder if we can leave out any of the story and still have all the story we need?
PRAY: Loving God, thank you for the stories Jesus told, stories which make us think, stories which show us what it means to live out your love in our world. Amen.
Weekly Faith Conversations
Use these guides as conversation starters with your family. A short retelling of the scripture passage is offered, or you may want to look the story up in your own bible or in a children's bible. The wondering questions are written to open up faith exploration with children and adults.