When we Googled the words “Good Samaritan,” the request brought us over 281,000 references of the Good Samaritan on the Internet. There were thousands of hospitals and medical centers named Good Samaritan, hundreds of Good Samaritan awards, scores of charitable trust funds named Good Samaritan, and a multitude of newspaper articles on Good Samaritan heroics and helpfulness. But what is the source of all these references?
Let’s take a peek at the Biblical Good Samaritan story, and then interpret it metaphysically, to present the real main character to you. You may want to read the whole story before continuing with this article. You’ll find it in Luke 10:25-37. When you’re finished, come on back. We’ll wait for you!
Let’s start by taking a look at a few specific verses from Luke 10:25-37, to provide some historical background from a literal standpoint.
- v27: The legal expert responds easily, reiterating the passages from the Torah (Deut 6:5 and Lev 19:18). He wanted to prove he was a student of the law, that he knew his Torah.
- v29: He desired Jesus’ approval to abide by the letter of the law and to restrict who he considered a neighbor. It would be like asking for permission not to help a member of a hate group who was hurt (like a neo-Nazi or a clansman). The Greek word for neighbor is plesion which is interpreted as “the close one.” It meant people similar to you in social status, religious faith, ethnicity, etc. The lawyer hoped that’s what Jesus meant.
- v30: In this verse, the phrase “a certain man” derives from the Greek Word anthropostis, which means somebody/anyone. Jesus was not going to give the lawyer a way out. The road between Jericho and Jerusalem was dangerous and notorious for bandits. Jericho was below sea level.
- v32: The law was if a person touched a dead body or came into contact with the blood of someone unclean, they would be defiled for seven days and not permitted to carry out their assigned religious duties.
- v33: The Jews abhorred the Samaritans. Samaritans were the descendants of those Jews who remained in northern Israel after it was conquered by Assyria in the 8th Century B.C. They were uncircumcised, intermarried Gentiles, and refused to acknowledge the temple in Jerusalem.
- v37: The lawyer probably paused before he responded to Jesus’ question. He, like other Jews, detested the Samaritans so much he was unable to bring himself to say the word Samaritan. He said, “He that showed mercy.” And Jesus responded, “You got that right.” We’re paraphrasing, of course.
For Jesus, there were no untouchables in the Kingdom of God. And the point He wanted to make to the lawyer – and to us – is to not let our religion replace our spirituality or compassion. If the only point of Jesus’ parable had been simply promoting a sense of civility and goodwill, it would have been a good message. But it has a much deeper meaning. Let’s take a metaphysical view, so we can add a higher consciousness, more spiritual perspective to the parable.
- Lawyer = our inclination to use the letter of the law to justify our behavior
- Injured Man (the main metaphysical character) = human consciousness; the thoughts, feelings, and actions in all of us
- Jerusalem = Heart-centered consciousness of peace and spirituality
- Jericho = Materially-focused desires which spring from the ego’s fears and selfishness
- Robbers = our selfish, destructive thoughts that deplete our body of its energy and vitality
- Priest and Levite = religious inclinations which fail to see the connection between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law
- Samaritan = the Christ of us
- Oil and wine = oil is love; wine is abundant life
- Inn = pure, receptive Divine thoughts
- Innkeeper = the Holy Spirit
- 2 denarii = the price we pay for reconnecting the human personality with Spirit
- Neighbor = our physical body and emotions which are affected by our thoughts
The metaphysical implications of this parable are quite clear. When we choose to leave the peace and serenity of our spirituality (Jerusalem) and follow the temptations of our material sense consciousness (Jericho), we rob ourselves of our energy and vitality. Our error thinking can take us over dangerous emotional and physical ground, sometimes resulting in life-threatening illnesses.
Our wholeness will be restored when we ramp up our consciousness (the Inn) and accept the wisdom and support that comes from our inner Divinity, which provides comfort through the Holy Spirit.
So you see the parable is not about the Samaritan at all. It is about us.
- It is about our relationship with the Christ of us.
- It relates to our falling in and out of a state of grace.
- It reminds us of our awesome and unfailing oneness to Spirit.
- It encourages us to have Christ thoughts so we can make Christ choices.
And — it assures us that we shall be comforted, as we walk the spiritual path on practical feet!
About the Authors: Combine a flair for the dramatic, a deep understanding of metaphysics combined with the teachings of Jesus, and a zest for ministry, and you have defined the dynamic duo who are at the heart of The Metaphysical Website.Revs. Drs. Bil and Cher Holton are co-ministers of a growing church in Durham, NC, prolific authors, and dynamic speakers. Learn more by visiting them at www.TheMetaphysicalWebsite.com