Based on the Parable of the Good Samaritan as found in Scripture (Luke 10:25-37).
A man had left work and was walking home down the street, the same way he traveled countless times before. He was minding his own business, looking forward to getting home for some dinner and a night of relaxation.
Unfortunately, a few blocks away from home, along a stretch of darkened street, he was met by a gang. They ruthlessly knocked him to the ground, beating him to a bloody mess. They tore through his clothing, stealing his wallet and cell phone. They liked his jacket and shoes, so they took those, too. The gang took off, leaving the young man – a father and a husband – unconscious, bloody and broken on the sidewalk.
The first person that came by saw the mess of a man lying helpless on the sidewalk. Immediately he pulled out his cellphone – not to call for help – but instead to snap a picture and post it on social media. Quickly uploading the file, this person had hundreds of likes and passionate opinions from his buddies in the comment section.
The next person that came by moments later also saw that the man was hurting, unsure if he was even breathing. He crossed over the street, walking on the opposite side and pretended not to see the victim. After all, if he stopped to help him and called for help he’d have to stay and give a statement to the police. He’d be a potential witness and would probably have to show up for court later. That seemed like a lot of responsibility and decided that he just didn’t want to get involved… and kept on walking.
Now the media had picked up the posted picture on social media from the first passerby and was playing it across the nation. Depending on which channel you watched depended on how the story was spun. Speculation, blame, and angst filled primetime television screens across the United States. Politicians, community leaders, and concerned citizens all expressed their positions on the attack.
The man, still lifeless on the sidewalk, was finally discovered by someone who cared, and dialed 911. He knelt down, bandaged him up, and made him comfortable until help arrived. This stranger remained by his side, riding in the back of the ambulance to the hospital. Unable to identify him, and unsure if he had medical insurance, the stranger told the hospital to bill him for the expenses and that he’d be back in a couple of days to check up on him. Before leaving, he even gave a detailed statement to the investigating officers.
Who was this stranger, this “good Samaritan?” And who was the victim?… The victim was a white police officer and the good Samaritan was a black man; in fact, he was an activist in the Black Lives Matter movement. Or, was it the other way around? Maybe it was that the victim was a black man and the good Samaritan was a white police officer… It doesn’t matter, they’d both do the same for each other regardless of skin color or profession.
Luke 10:25-37 (CEB)
25 A legal expert stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to gain eternal life?” 26 Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?” 27 He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” 28 Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.” 29 But the legal expert wanted to prove that he was right, so he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 Jesus replied, “A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He encountered thieves, who stripped him naked, beat him up, and left him near death. 31 Now it just so happened that a priest was also going down the same road. When he saw the injured man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. 32 Likewise, a Levite came by that spot, saw the injured man, and crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. 33 A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. 34 The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’ 36 What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?”
37 Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”