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Create a PowerPoint presentation (10-20 slides) that supplements your research paper.

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The presentation is to be clear and concise, and students will lose points for improper grammar, punctuation, and misspelling.

The presentation should be formatted per current CMOS and 10-20 slides. Incorporate a minimum of 3-5 current (published within last five years) scholarly journal articles or primary legal sources (statutes, court opinions) within your work.

Research paper

Outline on the Parable of the Good Samaritan

I. Introduction

The parable of the Good Samaritan is recounted by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke in response to a question posed by a lawyer. Seeking to justify himself and test Jesus, the lawyer asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. However, Jesus recognizes the lawyer’s attempt to rationalize his righteousness and corners him by inquiring what is written in the law itself regarding the path to salvation. In reply, the lawyer quotes the greatest commandments to love God with all one’s being and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, leaving no room for further debate. Yet this presents Jesus with an opportunity to clarify what it means in practical terms to truly love one’s neighbor as the law instructs. It is in response to the lawyer’s recitation of the commandments and to shed light on how to obey them, that Jesus shares the poignant parable of the Good Samaritan. In it, he unveils the core teaching of extending compassion to fellow image-bearers of God in their time of desperate need.

Exegesis involves a close examination of the text within its historical context to determine the intended meaning. A thorough understanding of first century Judean society, including cultural norms and religious tensions between Jews and Samaritans, provides crucial background for appreciating the parable. Analyzing elements such as characters, plot, setting, use of irony, and narrative devices allows the parable’s significance to be uncovered. Through this exegetical approach, the paper seeks to demonstrate that the central thesis taught is that believers must exhibit mercy and compassion toward anyone in need, regardless of social, religious or ethnic differences. Loving one’s neighbor as oneself means showing sacrificial kindness to fellow image-bearers of God without prejudice.

II. Historical-cultural context

  1. Differences between Jews and Samaritans

The religious and ethnic tensions between Jews and Samaritans dated back many centuries before the time of Christ. After the united kingdom of Israel split following the reign of Solomon, the northern kingdom that retained the name Israel was overcome by the Assyrians and the population intermingled with foreign peoples brought in by the conquering empire. Those remaining came to be known as Samaritans, but they maintained spiritual practices rooted in Mosaic law as had the Israelites. However, devout Jews saw them as heretics for incorporating aspects of foreign idolatry. Their impurity was compounded by later interbreeding, resulting in a mixed race. As a result, the Samaritans faced harsh stigmatization from Jews as half-breeds who were unclean and indecent.

This prejudice was further inflamed by a disagreement over the proper place of worship. When the Jewish exiles returned from Babylon, they established their temple at Jerusalem once more. But the Samaritans declared their holy place to be Mount Gerizim, based on tradition. They rejected Jerusalem’s authoritative status which breeding more conflict and division between the groups. As outsiders in primarily Jewish lands, Samaritans encountered regular discrimination and suspicion. They were avoided or shunned in many social situations. This left them as pariahs in their own home, generating centuries of animosity. Against this backdrop, for a Samaritan to take pity on a Jew, their supposed enemy, would have been considered utterly unthinkable by those of the time. It is what makes the parable’s message all the more profound.

  1. Role of the priest, Levite and religious laws

The role and responsibilities of a priest, as outlined in the Mosaic Law, was extensive and exacting. Priests served as the intermediaries between God and people, offering sacrifices, blessings and prayers on behalf of the nation1. Significant emphasis was placed on rituals of purification and maintaining personal holiness befitting their sacred position2. However, their duties also encompassed providing compassionate care and assistance to those in need. If a priest happened upon an ailing or injured person, especially along the roadsides where help could be remote, they were to stop, assess the seriousness of the situation and either treat minor afflictions or ensure the individual received further aid.

Similarly, Levites played an important supporting role to the priests as religious officials and teachers. While not the same rank as a priest, Levites still upheld demanding codes of conduct and service. This included an obligation to demonstrate kindness toward fellow Israelites, particularly those suffering distress or calamity. Just as priests were to minister directly to the afflicted, Levites shared a parallel mandate to offer relief and solace. Both served as representatives of God tasked with conveying not just ritual purity but embodiment of the heart of Mosaic law – love for others shown through actively helping to save life and alleviate suffering3. Their religious duties prioritized displaying compassion as much as observing ceremonial requirements when human need presented itself.

  1. Danger of the Jericho Road

The treacherous road between Jerusalem and Jericho traversed rough, isolated terrain that made travel perilous even for the hardiest of people. Stretching some 30 miles through barren desert landscapes, the route was exposed with little shelter or defense against the dangers that prowled the region. As a major east-west pass connecting populated areas, it became a prime target for robbers and cutthroats eager to waylay unsuspecting traders and pilgrims. Without a strong law enforcement presence, attacks were common and victims left at the mercy of wild animals or the punishing sun with medical care and civilization still hours away. Even minor injuries could easily turn fatal amid such risks and lack of immediate aid.

It was along this dreaded path that the events of Jesus’ parable occurred. The man beaten by thieves likely had his money and provisions stolen, leaving him helpless to journey on or call for help in his weakened state. Alone and injured in such a remote, hazardous place meant almost certain death was imminent. For the priest and Levite, respected religious figures charged specifically with caring for those in distress, to ignore his plight constituted nothing less than a death sentence. Yet this is what made the Samaritan’s choice to stop, tend the victim’s wounds and transport him safely all the more striking and extraordinary. In stopping to offer lifesaving aid to an injured Jew despite the immense risks, he obeyed God’s commandment in its deepest spirit of compassion above all else.

III. Narrative analysis

  1. Setting and characters introduced

The parable of the Good Samaritan opens by setting the scene along the notoriously dangerous road between Jerusalem and Jericho. This 30-mile stretch cut across arid, inhospitable countryside, offering little shade or shelter from the oppressive sun. With few sources of sustenance or communities along the way, travelers were at high risk from attackers and the harsh elements. Against this backdrop, Jesus establishes that a solitary man was making the difficult journey, quite possibly a pilgrim visiting the holy city or merchant transporting goods between settlements4. However, he fell prey to robbers lurking on the route, an all too frequent occurrence for the vulnerable.

The thieves relieved the man of his money and possessions, but left him in a severe state of distress. Through violently stripping and beating him, they ensured he would not survive without significant aid. Abandoning their victim half-dead and alone, they showed complete disregard for his life. In that arid wilderness, devoid of aid or refuge, death seemed inevitable without speedy intervention. With dramatic impact, Jesus paints a scene that would have stirred emotion in his listeners. A lone figure is set upon without mercy, robbed of livelihood and dignity, and discarded by the road like refuse – an image perfectly capturing the vulnerability and tragedy of humankind. It was a distressing scenario that emphasized both the severity of the traveler’s plight and the urgency for divine compassion to be demonstrated.

B. Actions of those who passed by versus the Samaritan

Having established the dire circumstances of the assaulted traveler, Jesus continues the narrative by introducing the first individuals who happen upon the injured man. Arriving at the tragic scene was a priest, unmistakably marked by his holy vocation and duty to spiritual and pastoral care. Though he no doubt identified his countryman in a struggle between life and death, the priest opted not to pause long enough to evaluate his welfare and needs. Following quickly afterward was a Levite, a figure also functioning in a sacred role of ministry and service to others according to religious laws5. Both recognized the fellow Hebrew laying exposed and abandoned in clear sign of ebbing life.

Yet against expectations given their esteemed positions and obligations, neither made any tangible effort to aid the dying man. Rather than stopping to give critical medical evaluation and first aid, they hurriedly journeyed onward, unaffected. Their detachment suggests a prioritizing of ceremonial cleanliness over compassion, contrary to their prescriptions. By passing up this ultimate teachable moment requiring concrete works of mercy, the religious class failed profoundly at their calling. Far from fulfilling obligations to ease suffering “by the roadside,” they neglected their divine commission as cultural gatekeepers entrusted with care of society’s most vulnerable. Through their disregard, Jesus underscores a stinging indictment against those whose duties encompass both ritual purity and practical caretaking of others.

C. Use of irony and subversion of expectations

Defying expectation, Jesus introduces an unusual figure – a Samaritan traveler passing along the very same route. As an Israelite remnant distrusted and disavowed due to societal prejudice, assisting a Jewish man would challenge typical conventions. However, rather than hurrying past like the religious officials, he is moved with pity beholding the pitiful form laying wounded and all but spent. Arriving at the scene, he proceeds to expend significant effort tending to the injuries with provisions commonly used for basic wound care. Making the stranger’s urgent care his immediate priority, the Samaritan arranges swift transport to receive further recovery aid.

Rather than considering his duty complete after rendering first response, the unlikely hero ensures follow through on the man’s recovery. He transports the convalescent to an inn, bridging the gap between emergency treatment and restored well-being. Remarkably, the Samaritan also pledges to cover all costs that may arise throughout the recovery process, symbolizing extraordinary sacrifice of personal resources6. In stark contrast to the indifference demonstrated by his own countrymen, this foreign figure embodies neighborly affection through exceptional acts of mercy towards an “enemy” in crisis, risking his very self without reservation7. Where social barriers divided, his benevolent heart knew no prejudice but only recognition of their shared image in God.

IV. Theological significance

A. Who is my neighbor? Challenge of prejudice

In engaging the lawyer’s question regarding who qualifies as a neighbor, Jesus sought to expose and remedy the prejudices that limit compassion. The Mosaic law commanded love for all people impartially, yet interpretations had grown restrictive over time8. The parable addresses this by depicting a Jew as the recipient of mercy rather than one of his own people, challenging preconceptions. It also features a Samaritan, a member of a group despised due to past sins, as the Good Samaritan who embodies neighborly love. By selecting these two figures as the subjects of his story, Jesus criticizes the tendency to prioritize outward identities over our shared humanity.

The religious official and the outcast Samaritan each encounter the same man, wounded and at the point of death. Yet only one recognizes the intrinsic worth of the sufferer rather than dismissing him on the basis of origins. For Jesus, the injured traveler’s ethnicity or piety mattered little compared to his basic need, which any person had an equal duty to fulfill9. A neighbor is not defined by tribal, social or religious affiliation, but by the divine requirement to love one another with compassionate action10. Jesus seeks to widen the lawyer’s narrow concept of who deserves kindness by showing that in times of crisis, distinction matters less than the opportunity to save life through mercy devoid of prejudice.

  1. Demonstration of agape love

The parable holds substantial significance for illustrating the self-sacrificing love that should characterize Jesus’ followers. The actions of the Samaritan provide a model for how to love neighbors in truth, beyond superficial gestures. While the priest and Levite offered only a cursory glance before neglecting the man, the Samaritan took responsibility for the stranger with tangible compassion. Not resting after initial aid, he secured the injured party further care at his own cost, showing real concern for recovery without hope of reimbursement. His magnanimous charity mirrors the boundless mercy God grants lowly sinners.

As disciples called to imitate such redemptive love, believers must live intentionally to alleviate the suffering of “neighbors,” regardless of personal inconvenience. When crisis strikes those around us, a nominal expression of care is insufficient. Christians should willingly expend all resources needed, as the Samaritan did, to restore the afflicted, just as Christ emptied himself completely to save humanity. Though risking his safety and funds, the Samaritan represented true neighborly affection through extraordinary sacrifice, just as Jesus would offer himself at Golgotha. His example calls believers to costs of compassion, not calculating how best to avoid expenditure, but willing to give all out of unselfish devotion to others’ welfare.

C. Inability to earn salvation through works

In questioning the lawyer regarding righteousness, Jesus confronted the flawed notion that one’s deeds or ancestry can justify standing before God. The Pharisee hoped to validate himself through the law, yet even his acclaimed position and pedigree failed to motivate compassion for a countryman in need. While good works naturally spring from genuine faith, they can never be the root of salvation. The parable illustrates that no person stands absolved based on lineage, religious observance or self-perceived moral performance11. A Samaritan despised as a foreigner outshone even agents of the divine system through his concern for the undeserving victim.

Jesus alone fulfilled all righteousness through his life, death and resurrection. It is only by unwarranted grace that any soul can be redeemed. As the ultimate neighbor who willingly sacrificed himself to save humanity from sin’s condemnation, he models the superior love that justifies the ungodly. We receive this gift not as earners of reward but objects of mercy. The lawyer sought justification but found it comes not from pedigree or performance, as even the best among men require salvation apart from works. This leaves no place for pride, demonstrating instead that compassion born of humble faith pleases God most of all.

V. Conclusion

The parable of the Good Samaritan powerfully illustrates several essential lessons about love. It shows that love has no boundaries, as the Samaritan exemplified compassion for an “enemy” in need. True love also demands personal sacrifice, as he expended significant time, energy and resources on the stranger’s recovery12. Furthermore, love is proven through concrete action rather than superficial gestures or profession alone. While the priest and Levite expressed no tangible care, the Samaritan embodied love through practical mercy. Above all, Jesus teaches that a neighbor is not defined by differences, but by our shared capacity to suffer and our equal duty to alleviate the suffering of others, when possible, through Christ-like affection.

These profound lessons continue speaking to Christians today. When prejudice and self-interest divide communities, believers must counter by exemplifying love without exclusions. In an age where superficial ally-ship can replace true sacrifice, Jesus calls his followers to loving works that alleviate hardship, not empty words. As millions worldwide face vulnerability through poverty, oppression, disaster or illness, Christ-followers should hear his command to see those in jeopardy as neighbors deserving benefit13. When needs arise among any class, regardless of cultural attributes, Christians can embody the agape love of God through passionate compassion.

May the account of the Good Samaritan inspire mercy in response. Wherever lives require saving aid, each person has opportunity to stop, notice and act as neighbors to one another. Communities can organize to assist the shut-in elderly, low-income families and those displaced. Individuals can become long-term mentors for at-risk youth. Through local outreach and global efforts alike, may believers embody the love that crosses boundaries, denies prejudices and seeks justice through works of kindness, healing and provision for all people in crisis as a living tribute to the selfless Samaritan’s example.


Chalmers, Matthew. “Rethinking Luke 10: the parable of the good samaritan israelite.” Journal of Biblical literature 139, no. 3 (2020): 543-566.

Juell, Sheldon. “Which Side Do You Travel On? The Parable Samaritan of the Good.”

Ryan, Maurice. “Revisiting the Parable of the Good Samaritan.” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 16, no. 1 (2021).

Nagle, John Copeland. “The Good Samaritan as a Legal Parable.” In Lecture held at the Pepperdine School of Law Annual Conference, accessed on, vol. 17, no. 11, p. 2021. 2020.

Nelson, Thomas. NKJV, Holy Bible: Holy Bible, New King James Version. Thomas Nelson, 2005.

1Juell, Sheldon. “Which Side Do You Travel On? The Parable Samaritan of the Good.”

2Nelson, Thomas. NKJV, Holy Bible: Holy Bible, New King James Version. Thomas Nelson, 2005.

3Nagle, John Copeland. “The Good Samaritan as a Legal Parable.” In Lecture held at the Pepperdine School of Law Annual Conference, accessed on, vol. 17, no. 11, p. 2021. 2020.

4Chalmers, Matthew. “Rethinking Luke 10: the parable of the good samaritan israelite.” Journal of Biblical literature 139, no. 3 (2020): 543-566.

5Juell, Sheldon. “Which Side Do You Travel On? The Parable Samaritan of the Good.”

6Nelson, Thomas. NKJV, Holy Bible: Holy Bible, New King James Version. Thomas Nelson, 2005.

7Nagle, John Copeland. “The Good Samaritan as a Legal Parable.” In Lecture held at the Pepperdine School of Law Annual Conference, accessed on, vol. 17, no. 11, p. 2021. 2020.

8Ryan, Maurice. “Revisiting the Parable of the Good Samaritan.” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 16, no. 1 (2021).

9Chalmers, Matthew. “Rethinking Luke 10: the parable of the good samaritan israelite.” Journal of Biblical literature 139, no. 3 (2020): 543-566.

10Nelson, Thomas. NKJV, Holy Bible: Holy Bible, New King James Version. Thomas Nelson, 2005.

11Nelson, Thomas. NKJV, Holy Bible: Holy Bible, New King James Version. Thomas Nelson, 2005.

12Nelson, Thomas. NKJV, Holy Bible: Holy Bible, New King James Version. Thomas Nelson, 2005.

13Nagle, John Copeland. “The Good Samaritan as a Legal Parable.” In Lecture held at the Pepperdine School of Law Annual Conference, accessed on, vol. 17, no. 11, p. 2021. 2020.

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