9 – Good Samaritan

Fifty common expressions that originated from the Bible that influence our language today.

 Good Samaritan – While this expression does not actually appear in the Bible, it is one of the most well-known parables of Jesus (Luke 10;30-37). Other sayings that derive from this passage and have become a part of our language include: “Fall among thieves;” “Go and do likewise” and “Pass by on the other side.”

A Good Samaritan is anyone who helps another person in a time of crisis. Probably, most of us have experienced a Good Samaritan who came along side of us in a time of need and hopefully we have been a Good Samaritan reaching out a hand to help someone. However, the phrase goes far beyond that today, frequently occurring in literature, speech writing (former President George W. Bush used the parable in his first inaugural address) and conversations. It is also known for its hospitals and humanitarian aid organizations (the charity, Samaritans was founded in 1953 by Vicar, Chad Varah, in London to minister to those contemplating suicide and Bob Pierce who founded Samaritan’s Purse in 1970 to minister to those in physical need. Franklin Graham is the current president), there is even a Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary in Australia, in honour of the “beast” in the story.

Another important effect of this parable is the Good Samaritans Laws that offer protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are injured or in peril.

This parable is the result of Jesus being asked a theoretical question as to “…who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29). Jesus answers in a practical manner by asking “To whom can I be a neighbour?”

Posted in Influence

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