The Good Samaritan and the Hitchhiker


Do you pick up hitchhikers?  Why or why not?  I passed one by again today as I drove through town.  I have to confess my conscience is disturbed every time this happens.  Why do we pass on by?

Is it inconvenience?  Are we afraid they may be dangerous?  Are we just shy and want to avoid the social discomfort?

As I wrestle with my conscience I can’t help but think of Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan.  Is this a fair application of this passage?  The similarities are striking.  We find hitchhikers by the roadside, often economically “beat down” and “stripped” of financial means.  We pass along their way and with a little time and generosity can provide the assistance they need.  For me, a pastor, the comparison is even more unsettling (“By chance a priest came along…and passed him by”).

So, is my guilt justified?  Should my conscience be disturbed as I pass by on the other side?  Does a Jesus-follower living by the “Jesus Creed” have an obligation to pull over and offer assistance?  What would Jesus do?  And if I tend to play “the priest” in this modernized version, who is most likely to be the modern day “Samaritan”?   What do you think?

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