Luke 10:31-36

Luke 10:31 (KJB)
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

The word “chance” carries with it the meaning of a Hebraism which is “and it came to pass” or “and it happened.” A priest had walked down the same road and had seen the injured man laying on the side of the road and instead of him lending a helping hand, the priest decides to pass by the man on the other side of the road.

Luke 10:32 (KJB)
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

The came a Levite who also saw the injured man lying on the side of the road and instead of him lending a helping, he too chose to walk by on the other side of the road. This passage states plainly that the Levite even looked directly at the man but had no compassion and just kept going. One of the common thoughts of that day was that if you were in a condition like that, then you were under God’s judgment for whatever sin you committed. There was even the belief that if you ran into problems it was because you were not following the law and teachings. Whatever reason the priest and Levite had for not getting involved was merely an excuse.

Luke 10:33 (KJB)
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

Then Jesus brings a third person into the parable and that was the Samaritan whom the Jews thought of as nothing but half breed Gentiles and were despised by the Jews. Jesus states that the Samaritan was on a journey and came to the spot where the injured man laid and once he saw him, he immediately showed compassion on him. He did not walk the other way or avoid him at all costs. Since Jesus was speaking to the Jews, this would have made His case concerning who the neighbor was plus it would have angered them when Jesus used their enemy as the compassionate one.

Luke 10:34 (KJB)
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

They man who would have been considered an outcast in Jewish society had begun to put action with his compassion. He started out by bandaging the wounds so the bleeding would stop. He then poured in oil and wine thus cleansing the wounds. He did not stop there but placed the man on his beast which was his pack animal and then took the man to an inn where he would have been able to heal and recuperate from his wounds. Tradition places this inn on the old Roman Road halfway between Jericho and Bethany. In fact, there are ruins of a fairly large building found at that site.

Luke 10:35 (KJB)
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

This Samaritan did not just drop the man of at the Inn and then go on his way but stayed with him all night to care for him. Then when the next day came, he probably saw that the man was stable and on the mend so he went to the innkeeper and told him to take care of the man and if he incurs any more expenses beyond the two denarii that the Samaritan gave him, then on his return trip he would reimburse the man for whatever he spent out of pocket. This Samaritan showed not only compassion but trust. He was generous to the man who was recovering from his wounds and he was trusting that the innkeeper would not just pocket the money. In those times, innkeepers were notorious for being dishonest and Rome dealt heavily with those people if they were caught. This story gives Christians a good understanding to show kindness to people whenever they have the opportunity, even if it costs them something.

Luke 10:36 (KJB)
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

Then Jesus asks the main question of the lawyer. Which one of those three was a neighbor to the man who fell among the thieves and suffered injury? The answer should have been obvious.