The man was lying by the road. His eyes were closed. Oh, he was hurting so much he couldn't even raise his head off the ground! Why wouldn't someone stop to help him?
A long time had passed since those awful men had beaten him up. He had been traveling from Jerusalem to the city of Jericho, minding his own business, when all of a sudden they had attacked him! They had taken all of his money and left him lying by the side of the road. They thought he was dead. It seemed that his body ached in a thousand places! He couldn't even walk.
Just then he heard a sound. Someone was coming. Maybe this person will help me, he thought. Then, again, maybe he won't. No one else had stopped when they saw him. This one might not help either.
Two people had gone right by him. One of those people was a priest. The man had been sure the priest would stop to help him. Priests were supposed to help people. But when the priest had seen the hurt man, he walked over to the other side of the road!
The other man who had passed by was a Levite. He had come over and looked at the hurt man, then just walked away!
Why had they crossed over to the other side of the road? Why wouldn't they help him? Were they afraid he would hurt them?
This next person was different. He did stop! He was a man from Samaria. He hurried to where the injured man lay. He knelt beside him and asked, "My friend, what has happened to you?"
In moments, he had taken ointment from his pack and had bathed the cuts and bruises. He carefully bandaged the hurt man's wounds. Then, he set him on his donkey and took him into town.
He found an inn where the hurt man could stay. He took care of him for the night. In the morning he had to leave so he asked the innkeeper to please take care of the hurt man until he was well. He gave the innkeeper some of his own money and told him he would give him more, if needed, when he came back!
Jesus told this story to a young lawyer who had asked Him, "Who is my neighbor?" Which of the men do you think was the hurt man's neighbor, or true friend? Was it the priest, was it the Levite, or was it the Samaritan?
That's right. It was the Samaritan. Because he was so kind, we sometimes call him the Good Samaritan!
In the Bible, Jesus tells us that we should be like the Good Samaritan. When we see someone who needs help, we should always do what we can to help him. We should do things for others just as we would want them to do for us.
This week, as you talk about the Good Samaritan's example of love and caring, focus on ways we can show love by helping others. Let your child make a "Helping Others" poster. Give him several magazines in which to find pictures of people who are helping others.
For a family project, write the name of each family member on a separate slip of paper, and put the slips in a bowl. Have each person draw a name, and keep that name a secret. Each day during the following week, secret helpers are to help the person whose name they drew without his finding out. For instance, they could shine his shoes or make his bed.