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A Parable

The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is steep and twisted. Barren ridges and rocks dot the highway, making perfect dens for thieves and wild beasts. A lone traveler looks from side to side on his way. The hooves of his donkey clomp in even rhythm on the path beneath him.

Around the next bend he sees something on the road. He draws closer and tells his donkey to slow. He hears a moan. A human form lies there. Is this a ruse? Are robbers spying nearby, ready to pounce if he stops?

A man is hurt, a Jew from Jerusalem. He is beaten. Robbed. Stripped of all he owns. Men journeying ahead have passed him by.

The traveler takes a blanket from his donkey’s pack, and some oil and wine. He pours the wine on the poor man’s wounds. The man groans more. The wine cleanses the deepest cuts. Oil aids in healing. He rips some cloth to make bandages.

The traveler gently lifts the beaten man and tries to hoist him onto his donkey. With much pain and effort the wounded man is mounted.

The traveler leads his donkey with the extra load on its back. They plod slowly down the road. The traveler raises his hand to shield his eyes. He gazes ahead. He knows the road. An inn should be nearby. He sees a dwelling in the distance. They continue on.

“Please care for this man,” the traveler tells the innkeeper after staying the night to nurse the man. “I will pay you now, but next time I journey through, I will stop and pay more if necessary.”

The traveler goes on his way to Jericho—and back home to Samaria.