'The Good Neighbour' Bible Study

Looking inside the parable of The Good Samaritan 

Good Neighbour Bible StudyThe parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) is one of the more familiar stories that Jesus used, but well worth examining a little more closely for what it can teach us. Martin Luther King Jnr described the road used in the illustration, shortly before his own assasination; 

‘I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, “I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable.” It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about... 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you’re about 2200 feet below sea level. That’s a dangerous road.’ 

 The parable has been interpreted in many ways. Augustine interpreted it allegorically, with the Samaritan representing Jesus Christ, who saves the sinful soul, which seems to rather miss the point of Jesus’s own response. Artistically, Jesus is often depicted as the Good Samaritan. 

 John Calvin suggests that people are not born merely for themselves, but rather “mankind is knit together with a holy knot ... we must not live for ourselves, but for our neighbours.” 

 However we interpret Jesus’s parable, it is a fact that the title ‘Good Samaritan’ is still used today to describe a charitable person, especially one who, like the man in the parable, rescues or helps out a needy stranger. Several charitable organisations also used the word ‘Samaritan’ within their titles or aims. 

 Through these studies we look at aspects of the story as it progresses and, together with other passages of Scripture, look at questions that it poses for Christians today.


The Good neighbour Bible Study on discipleship


The study  is formatted such that each individual study can be printed off on 2 double-sided sheets of A4 for distribution to a group, or distributed by email. If you're using it with more than one group, it would be appreciated if you could consider purchasing one study per group!

The four studies have all you need for a small group discussion, with useful images, along with plenty of commentary and discussion questions

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©John Birch · Prayers written by the author may be copied freely for worship. If reproduced elsewhere please acknowledge author/website
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