Seeing Christ in the Good Samaritan
One of the things I value the most in this life is the Bible. It wasn't that way at the beginning. I grew up in a place where the Bible is only read in church every Sunday.
I wasn't able to own a complete Old and New Testament Bible until I was in college. I used to have The Gideons' blue New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs when I was in high school. I was so happy for The Gideon's International to give me that book for free.
Through it I was able to read my favorite verse early in life, John 3:16. It was written in many languages in that New Testament. One of my favorite Gospel stories to read (actually it's a parable) was the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). I remember hearing it read in church a few times and it was taught in class by our catechist.
I was fascinated by the Samaritan's exemplary act of mercy on a stranger who was robbed and left half-dead by the bandits. I didn't understand why the two holy men (a priest and a Levite) would pass the dying man by and would not take care of him or help him. I understand now.
But back then, I was provoked to anger by the indifference of the priest and the Levite. I was in awe, however, of the Samaritan's good and tender heart. He was my hero, someone worth emulating.
I wasn't a believer then when I first heard and read this story. I got converted later in life. But this story and the message it conveys became more meaningful to me as I grow in my knowledge of the Bible's overall message.
From the vantage point of redemptive history, I see more and more the resemblance of God's work of rescuing helpless and dying men through the work of Christ in this parable. I am seeing more and more Christ in the Good Samaritan who rescued not just a needy stranger but real enemy.
The Samaritans had nothing to do with the Jews at that time (cf. John 4:9). And so for a Samaritan to rescue an enemy from death and to take care of him is mind-shattering. It was extraordinary. Out of this world.
Reflecting on this story, I realize that its message is no different from the storyline of the whole Bible. It's a story of rescuing someone from sure death. It's a story of saving an enemy from sure danger. It's a story of salvation and redemption of someone who's undeserving.
At the center of the Bible is the story of God's redeeming love rescuing and delivering fallen men, in fact enemies, from their sin and death. It's a story of God rescuing me and many more, who by nature are rebels and enemies, from sure death by sending His own Son in order to die for and in place of sinners like me. He paid the price of my redemption for His glory's sake.