The Hero of the Story, Part One
In our Sunday School class, we took a deeper look at a parable we all knew. Before we started, we watched this video:
After viewing the short, we then looked again at the parable of the Good Samaritan.
“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[e] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ •36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.Luke 10:33-36, NLT
I know this parable, I know it well. And I get it – I’m supposed to love the Other; I’m supposed to think of the Samaritan equivalent in my life as my neighbor. And if I come across that Other in peril, I’m supposed to stop and help.
But Jesus was much more subversive than that in this parable. Jesus doesn’t say that we should stop and love on the Samaritan. He says we are to see the Samaritan as the hero in our story. The Other wasn’t helped by the Good Us.
The Other was the hero of the story.
More than loving the enemy, more than loving the person that we have already pre-judged, or even rightfully judged, more than that:
Are we will to look at them as the potential hero of the story?
The guy with the MAGA hat? The guy with the Obama bumper sticker? The TV preacher? The professional atheist speaker? The guy bumming change on the corner? The CEO with the $100 million golden parachute?
Can we see them as a hero?
Is our love that subversive?