Do Likewise


From Amy-Jill Levine’s Stories by Jesus [from her chapter on the Good Samaritan]: “The lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus reframes the question. As Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently revealed in his sermon, asking the right question is of utmost importance. The issue for Jesus is not the “who,” but the “what,” not the identity but the action. The lawyer is unable even to voice the hated name “Samaritan.” He can only say, “The one doing mercy for him.” The parable spoke about compassion, but the lawyer read the action as one of mercy. .. For the lawyer, and for Luke’s readers, the Samaritan does what God does. The divine is manifested only through our actions. Therefore, Jesus responds to the lawyer’s observation not with a question and not with a parable, but with an imperative: “Go,” he says, “and you do likewise.”



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