Parable of the Good Samaritan

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The parable of the Good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus and is mentioned in only one of the Canonical gospels. According to the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37) a traveler is beaten, robbed, and left half dead along the road. First a priest and then a Levite come by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan comes by. Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured Jew. Jesus is described as telling the parable in response to a question regarding the identity of the "neighbour" which Leviticus 19:18 says should be loved.

Portraying a Samaritan in positive light would have come as a shock to Jesus' audience.[1] It is typical of his provocative speech in which conventional expectations are inverted.[1]

Some Christians, such as Augustine, have interpreted the parable allegorically, with the Samaritan representing Jesus Christ, who saves the sinful soul.[2] Others, however, discount this allegory as unrelated to the parable's original meaning,[2] and see the parable as exemplifying the ethics of Jesus, which have won nearly universal praise, even from those outside the Church.[3]

The parable has inspired painting, sculpture, poetry, and film. The colloquial phrase "good Samaritan," meaning someone who helps a stranger, derives from this parable, and many hospitals and charitable organizations are named after the Good Samaritan.

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