It’s good to read the stories and teachings of Christ from scripture that puts a mirror right in front of our faces. Most of them are intended that way. His words are a reminder, especially for those who are in the business of Church that he is speaking to us today, just as clearly as he did to his disciples 2000 years ago. And we need to listen and get it.
Sometimes when we read the same story over and over, we tend to see the words in our mind before they appear before our eyes, to the point where our reading becomes mechanical.
The story of the Good Samaritan is one many are familiar with. It is used whenever we want to get across the idea of hypocrisy, kindness, generosity, and trust.
Here the story is presented differently, and even with an alternate ending.
As you read along, think of those whom you see in your mind as the innkeeper, the Levite, The Priest, The Robbers, or even the injured man. Maybe if you are honest enough, you will see yourself. And for those who think that I am being sacrilegious, get over it.
Now to have this lesson be authentic, we shall use the King’s language.
The Inn Keeper
“And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee” (Luke 10:35 KJV).
And lo the innkeeper did say “Art thou crazy? The injured man is but a youth who will eat me out of house and home before your return. Let me see thine credit card.” whereupon the Samaritan handed over his Visa and left.
Upon his travels the Samaritan did meet up with the Levite who had seen the injured man but had walked on the other side. The Samaritan did take the Levite by the front of his tunic and said, “Didst thou not see the injured man? What werest thou thinking?”
The Levite, who himself was but a youth, spoke to the Samaritan, saying:
“Yea, I did see the injured man, but he was gross and bloody, and this is a new tunic I am wearing. I had homework. I was thinking spiritual thoughts and missed the injured man. Did not my own mother tellest me not to speak to strangers? Are there not shelters and government programs to take care of such things? Why did the injured man not report the beating to the police?”
The Samaritan released the Levite in tunic and blue jeans, for he could bear the excuses no longer. He continued to journey down the road where he met the Priest going the opposite direction. The Samaritan did also take the Priest by the front of his tunic and say, “Didst thou not notice the injured man when ye journeyed past earlier? Art thou not a minister and required to help?”
The priest responded to him, saying:
“Upon my arrival to my church I placed an order upon our Parish Council to organize a committee that will reach out to the injured and the homeless within our community. It will be in three month’s time and will provide addresses and phone numbers of various charitable organizations in our community where people can get help. We don’t offer food ourselves because then every homeless and injured person for miles around will showest up at our door. And, by the way, we just finished renovating the hall “
The Samaritan released the priest and turned away in disgust. As he traveled down the road he met two robbers who were wearing the clothing described by the injured man and were leading the injured man’s donkey. The Samaritan did call out to them and struck his fighting stance. And lo did he make that cool “bring it on” motion with his hand, saying, “Let us rocketh.” The robbers attacked, and the Samaritan did lay upon the robbers bruises and much pain. And he did leave them by the side of the road.
The Injured Man
Upon his return to the hotel the Samaritan did find that the injured youth had left the inn, skipping out on his bill and racking up considerable charges. The Samaritan did exclaim to the clerk, “Where dost thou get off charging six dollars for coffee and toast? This is not the Inn at the Marriott.”
Whereupon the clerk did say, “Don’t tellest me; I just work here.”
When Jesus finished his story, he said unto his disciples, “Who was the man’s neighbor?”
And Peter did reply, “Which man are we talking about, the innkeeper or one of the robbers?”
Then James spoke saying, “Weren’t we talking about seeds just a second ago?”
Andrew asked, “Do you think you ought to use a priest in this story? I mean, aren’t we in enough trouble?”
And John did say, “Are we having snacks tonight?”
Responding thus to the stories of Jesus did make him wonder about the spiritual development of his group. And lo did Jesus wander off by himself for forty days and forty nights where he slept soundly for the first time in weeks.