Disciples are not only called to reach out to the vulnerable and marginalised, but also to challenge political and cultural structures that lead to war, poverty and persecution.
Key Text: Luke 10:25-37
What does injustice mean to you? Make a list of words and phrases that describe what you understand by injustice. It might help to recall a time when you were on the receiving end of an injustice? How did this affect you? (This is sensitive material; be supportive in the group.)
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.”
And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’
Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who
fell into the hands of the robbers?”
He said, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Article by the Revd Canon Dr Vicentia Kgabe, Rector of the College of the Transfiguration, Grahamstown, South Africa.
There are many sayings from South Africa’s spoken languages that reveal traditional attitudes to our neighbour. In Sesotho, the people say: ‘When your house is on fire mine is automatically on fire too.’ And in IsiZulu, the saying goes: ‘A person is a person because of other people.’
So, in my context, the parable of the Good Samaritan is a story of neighbourly love, not care for a stranger, but care for a fellow human being.
When a group of rural women, in the region of Kwa-Zulu Natal, looked at this parable during a community bible study, they were not surprised by the generosity of the Samaritan. These women believe that every person shares an obligation to care for all people. They also recognise that such acts of compassion are more commonly something done by women than by men.
Too often, cultural and church tradition places responsibility for neighbourly care solely upon women – and this responsibility often comes
at great personal cost as women endeavour to reach out in love with
More than this, it is often women themselves who are the ones in need
of care. Women in South Africa are vulnerable, marginalised and often abused, by their families, government institutions and even the church.
Women have fallen into the hands of robbers who have left them stripped, beaten and half-dead. And those they hoped might offer help have passed them by on the other side, even blaming them, calling them names and
accusing them of bringing this calamity upon themselves.
The church is called to bandage wounds and feed the hungry. The church should be a place where faith is restored, neighbourly love is felt, and equality is practised – and where women and girl children are not treated like second-class citizens or worse.
Holy God, you cast down the mighty and lift up the lowly,
transforming the world into your kingdom.
Help us, your disciples, to continue to challenge injustice
and so be your hands, your feet, your voice today.
In the light of this study, what learning might you adopt to help you grow in your discipleship?