The Man Who Showed Mercy

Sacred Stories for Children
TEXT: Luke 10:30-37

JESUS was so kind and good to everybody while He lived on earth. He wanted to teach men and women and boys and girls how to help others. One day Jesus told this story to some people, so they would know what to do if they ever saw anyone in trouble.

This is Jesus’ story.

One time a man was walking down a road all alone. This was a bad road to walk alone, but the man wanted to go from the city of Jerusalem, where the big church was, to the city of Jericho.

There were no cars then and he had to walk on this bad road. It went down real steep hills, and up high in the hills. It had lots of turns in it and some places it was oh so dark and lonesome! On one side, if the man looked up he saw high, big rocks. If he looked down, he saw deep, deep valleys, way, way, way down below him. Oh, this was a very bad road to walk along! There were no towns or houses or stores.

Mean men used to hide in some of the dark spots and by a turn in the road, and then when someone would come along they would jump out at them and take whatever they wanted. That was stealing. These men were robbers. They were bad.

Here came this man just walking along. He did not see anyone, but all of a sudden, real quick, out jumped some of these robbers. They had been hiding there just waiting for someone to come.

Oh, how mean they were to this poor man! You know what they did? They knocked him down and hit him so hard the blood came. They took all the money he had, and even took his clothes away from him. Then they ran away and left him lying there on the road. He was hurt real bad. He could not get up, so he just had to lie there all by himself and wait for someone to come along and help him. He had to wait a long time because not many people walked that way.

Listen! Listen! Someone is coming! Walk, walk, walk come the sounds of slow footsteps. A man must be coming along this same lonely road. Now maybe someone will find the poor hurt man and help him. He needed help.

Nearer and nearer came the footsteps. Closer and closer. Yes, there was somebody coming. It was a priest from the big Temple Church in the city of Jerusalem. He was from the same Temple where Jesus went when He was just a little baby. Surely this priest will be glad to help the man.

The priest came very close. Do you know what he did? The priest just looked at the poor, bleeding man in the road. Did he help him? No! He went far over on the other side of the road. He probably made believe that he did not see the man at all.

That priest might have thought that if he stopped, the bad men somewhere near would hurt him, too. Anyway, he did not stop. The Bible does not tell why.

The priest is gone. The poor hurt man is very weak and sick now. Is he going to die way out here in this lonely place before someone will come along again?

Wait! Listen! Is that the sound of some more footsteps? Is someone else coming? Yes, walk, walk, walk. Closer and closer come the footsteps. What is this man going to do? Will he help? Will he go right on like the priest did? What will he do?

This time it was a man called a Levite. Some of the Levite men would sing in the church chorus and some of them would take care of the Temple. Just think, this man may have been on his way to talk to God at the Temple Church. A man going to church? Surely, he will be glad to stop and see what he can do to help this poor, hurt man.

What did he do? He walked right up to the man there on the ground. He looked at him. He saw the blood on him. He saw that he was sick. He saw where the robber men had hit him so hard. He saw that his clothes had been stolen and he was probably cold. Then, he turned and went on down the road without doing one thing to help.

Maybe he thought, Oh, this is too bad, but I am in a hurry. If I stop I will be late for church. Maybe he thought, Oh, I feel sorry for him but if I stop to help him I will get all dirty and cannot sing in the chorus. Don’t you wonder what he really did think? What would make him go on and leave that sick man just lying there in the road with no one to help him?

What is going to happen to this man? He is too hurt to get up by himself. He is too hurt to walk if he could get up. What is he going to do?

Clickity clack, clickity clack. What could that sound be! It is not a man walking. What is it?

No, it was not a man. It was a little donkey. On the donkey’s back rode a man. He was from a place called Samaria. The priest and the Levites did not like people from Samaria. They felt that Samaritans were not as good as other people. God never feels that way. God made all people. He loves all of them and He wants us to love everybody, too.

The very minute that the good Samaritan saw someone lying on the ground, he quickly jumped off his donkey, and ran real fast to see what was the matter.

The good Samaritan did not go away and leave him there. Oh, no! He felt sorry for him. First he put some oil on the hurt places to make them feel better. Then he carefully and gently wrapped up all the hurts. How good it seemed to the poor man to have someone help him.

The good Samaritan put something around the man and began to lift him gently, easy, easy, up, up, oh, so gently so it would not hurt him. He put him on the little donkey’s back so he could take him somewhere and put him to bed.

Then the good Samaritan walked along beside the donkey. He may have put his arm around the hurt man so he would not fall off and get hurt again. On and on and on they went. Slowly, slowly, and at last they came to a place like our hotel where there were beds to sleep in. Those people called it an inn. The good Samaritan paid for a bed and room for the hurt man.

The next morning the good Samaritan had to go on about his work. He gave the innkeeper some money and asked him to take care of the poor, hurt man until he was well enough to travel again. He even told the innkeeper if that was not enough money to take care of him, he would pay him when he came back.

Jesus said that we should do just like the good Samaritan did. We should help other people when they need something just as we would want them to help us if we were in trouble.

Jesus said that everyone is our neighbor even if he does not live right next door to us. The ones who live near us are our closest neighbors, but our neighbor is anyone who needs help. Little boys and girls can be real good helpers for Jesus.