The Good Samaritan in the Bible: Verses, Scripture Reference, Meaning, and Devotional Reflection

The good Samaritan is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. It is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, verses 25-37. In this story, a man is traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when he is attacked by robbers. He is left badly injured by the side of the road. A priest and a Levite see him, but they do not stop to help. They are afraid that they will be attacked as well. However, a Samaritan comes along and he does stop to help. He bandages the man’s wounds and takes him to an inn where he can recover. The Samaritan pays for the man’s lodging and promises to come back and check on him. This story teaches us that we should love our neighbor, even if they are not like us. We should help those in need, regardless of whether or not it is convenient for us. This story is a reminder that we are all God’s children and we should treat each other with love and compassion.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan King James Version KJV BIBLE

Luke 10:25-37 KJV 

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  (26)  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?  (27)  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  (28)  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.  (29)  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?  (30)  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  (31)  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  (32)  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.  (33)  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,  (34)  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.  (35)  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.  (36)  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?  (37)  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The Message Bible Paraphrase of the Parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37

Luke 10:25-37 MSG  Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?”  (26)  He answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?”  (27)  He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.”  (28)  “Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live.”  (29)  Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?”  (30)  Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead.  (31)  Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side.  (32)  Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.  (33)  “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him.  (34)  He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable.  (35)  In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’  (36)  “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”  (37)  “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded. Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”

Luke 10:25-37 NIV – New International Version Bible

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  (26)  “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”  (27)  He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”  (28)  “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”  (29)  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  (30)  In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  (31)  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  (32)  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  (33)  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  (34)  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.  (35)  The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’  (36)  “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”  (37)  The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Reflection on Luke 10:25-37

The good Samaritan is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible, and it has deservedly been the subject of much devotional reflection. In this passage, Jesus tells the story of a man who is robbed and left for dead by the roadside. A priest and a Levite pass by without stopping to help, but a Samaritan – a member of a group that was traditionally despised by the Jews – stops to render aid. This story has much to teach us about compassion, mercy, and love for our neighbor. It reminds us that we are all children of God, regardless of our station in life, and that we are called to love one another as he loves us. As we reflect on this passage, let us pray for the courage to follow the Samaritan’s example and show compassion to those who are in need.

The story of the good Samaritan is one that has always stuck with me. It’s a story of someone who went out of their way to help a stranger in need, even though it cost them time and money. It’s a story of compassion and love, and it’s something we should all strive for. So today, I want to pray that God would help us to love others like the good Samaritan. I pray that we would be willing to go out of our way to help those in need, even if it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable. I pray that we would have compassion for others, even if they are different from us.

Prayer to God based on Jesus’ Story of the Good Samaritan

Heavenly Father, we come before you today humbly asking for your help. We live in a world that can be harsh and Unforgiving, and sometimes it is difficult to see past our own problems in order to show compassion to others. However, we know that you calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Help us to follow the example of the good Samaritan, and to reach out to those who are struggling, even when it is inconvenient or difficult. Give us compassionate hearts that see the best in others, and that are always ready to lend a helping hand. We ask this in your holy name, Amen.

Christian Authors Reflect on the Good Samaritan

Martin Luther King Jr. frequently spoke about this parable. He contrasted the rapacious philosophy and self-preserving involvement of priests and Levites with the Samaritan’s helping the man in greatest need. King extended the call to neighborly help to society as a whole:

On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

— Martin Luther King Jr., “A Time to Break the Silence”, quoted in Hicks & Valeri 2008, p. 31
What is the main meaning of the Good Samaritan?

The story of the Good Samaritan is told in the Bible in the book of Luke. It is a story about a man who was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes and left him for dead. A priest happened to be passing by, but he ignored the man and walked on. Then a Levite came by, but he also ignored the man and walked on. But a Samaritan, against whom the Jews had prejudice, stopped to help the man. He bandaged his wounds, brought him to an inn, and paid for his care. The story concludes with Jesus telling His listeners that they should love their neighbor as themselves.”

What is the moral of the story of the Good Samaritan?

The moral of the story is that we should help those in need, even if they are not like us.
The story of the Good Samaritan is about a man who was beaten and left for dead on the side of the road. A priest and a Levite both walked past him without helping, but a Samaritan came along and took care of him. The lesson is that we should help those in need, even if they are not like us.

How can I teach the moral lesson of Luke 10:25-37 for children?

Download the free Sunday School lesson and activities on the Parable of the Good Samaritan from Sunday School Works! You can also watch the children’s sermon object lesson on this important Bible teaching.

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