Notice the theme that is woven through all three stories in this chapter.
Scripture: Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him... Luke 10:33-34
Observations: What a masterful story! Jesus was a genius (no kidding, Bill). In the previous chapter we see Jesus' own disciples wanting to call fire down on a Samaritan village (9:54), and here Jesus tells a story in which a Samaritan, not the Jewish religious professionals, is the hero of the tale. It is also interesting in the next story that it is a woman "sitting at his feet" as a disciple who is recognized as the one who is getting it right, not the one who is doing the culturally expected "woman's work." Jesus was the ONLY Rabbi of his day who would have permitted a woman to be his disciple. And, referring to the beginning of the chapter, who would have thought that a bunch of poor powerless (like lambs among wolves) pairs of people could be so miraculously used to be the front line messengers of the kingdom of God?
Apply: Sometimes the truth is best conveyed in wit, irony, and satire. Jesus was a great satirist who used stories, miracles, and provocative social interactions in order to break down the social and religious barriers to the gospel of the kingdom of God. I wonder how often our religious traditions and cultural prejudices get in the way of the gospel?
Prayer: Jesus, help me to always have a heart that is open to the ever-reaching, ever-loving, ever-stretching gospel of the kingdom of God.