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BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The mountain road between Jerusalem and Jericho was 30 km long and very dangerous because of highway robbers lurking for travelers. A Levite means a man who was working as a kind of janitor in the temple. At the time of Jesus, the Jews were in hostile terms with Samaritans who were living in the same country with them. (Take an example from your own country. RUSSIA: It is easier to understand this parable, if you think that all the other persons in this story are Russians except the Samaritan – he is a Chechen. MONGOLIA: It is easier to understand this parable if you think that all the other people in this story are Mongolians except the Samaritan – he is a Chinese.)

1. Can a person be happy if he does not care for his suffering fellowmen at all, but only thinks about himself and his family?
  • How often do you give away your money for the purpose of helping those in need?

    2. In a previous study we learned about a politician who asked Jesus the same question as the teacher of the law in this text. What is the way to heaven according to what Jesus says in this text (25-27)?
  • What are your chances of getting into heaven if the conditions/terms are such as Jesus is teaching in verse 27?

    3. Jesus tells a parable about a man who was beaten out of his senses by a gang of robbers. Imagine the thoughts of this injured man while he was lying by the roadside hour after hour (30).
  • What may his wife and children have been thinking when the father didn’t show up by promised time?

    4. What made it dangerous for passers-by to help the battered man?
  • The priest and the Levite were on their way to perform their religious duties in the temple. What do you think these two men would have done if the injured person had been their own son?
  • Think of as many reasons as possible why these two men refused to help the unknown victim of crime (31-32)?
  • How do you think you yourself would have acted in that given situation?

    5. How did the priest and the Levite interpret the commandment of love which they had been taught since they were children? Look at verse 27?
  • What would you think about a person who said like this: “I do love God with all my heart, but unfortunately I don’t have any chance to help other people.”

    6. If the Samaritan had passed by the battered Jew, how could he have excused/ defended his behavior? See Background information.
  • In which respects did the Samaritan do even more than anyone could have expected in such situation (33-35)?

    7. Two denarii were wages for two days’ labor, which means one thirteenth part of one month’s average salary. With that sum one could live in an inn for two whole months. How much approximately would two denarii be in your currency?
  • Think of possible reasons why the Samaritan gave such a sum to a total stranger (35).
  • In your opinion, how many percent out of the commandment of love did the Samaritan traveler fulfill? See verse 27.

    8. Whom did Jesus mean by the word “neighbor”?
  • Who are the neighbors you should help far and near?

    9. If you were asked to choose one of the roles in this parable, which do you think would suit you best: the battered man, a highway robber, the priest, the Levite or the inn-keeper? Give your reasons for choosing this particular role.
  • In what ways does Jesus resemble the Samaritan of this parable?
  • How does Jesus resemble the battered Jew?
  • Jesus prepared another way to heaven except the one described in verse 27? What is it?

    THE GLAD TIDINGS QUESTIONS: “Go and do the same”, said Jesus – and went and did the same himself. Even if all the people have always passed by you without caring for your sorrows, he won’t do it. He is standing now by your side and wanting to bind the wounds of your heart. What do you answer him? (You can answer in your heart.)
  • (For everyone to answer): What was the most important thing you learned during this Bible study?

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