The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Why is it important to know the pay the Innkeeper earned to help the Samaritan’s injured friend? Because it says how long the Innkeeper works for the Samaritan.

Background

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a powerful statement of just what Jesus is doing in the world today. It was offered as a response to pressing questions from an expert in the law. In offering this response Jesus answered the question of the expert, but he also explained just what God was doing to bring the human race back into relation to himself. The following is the text.

25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27He answered: "`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, `Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. `Look after him,' he said, `and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."

Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." Luke 10:25-37 NIV

25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.?? Rather more Greek than English! pleegas epithentes (wounded) - pleeglas empty apeelthon aphentes (and departed) - aphentes empty heemithanee tunchanonta (half dead) - tunchanonta empty 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Luke 10:25-37 KJV

This parable, in its simple answer, provides a statement about helping neighbors and those found in need. It also suggests that priests and Levites are unwilling to be helpful. Indeed, touching someone dead would make a priest unclean and unable to carry out his duties and Jesus is teaching that we are not to worry about such matters, and instead tend to people who need our help.

A modern application of this might be the following. Say you were driving to church and came across an accident. Which is more important, going to church, or helping those in the accident? Clearly Jesus is teaching that we should lend a hand and ignore our other obligations.

Under this interpretation, which is OK as far as it goes, Jesus is also teaching us to get professional help when needed. The inn keeper is like a doctor in that regard here.

Second Meaning

This story has a second meaning, one which helps us see deeper into the things of God and helps us to unravel most of the rest of the details. It was redacted, like the other stories in the Bible, so only essential details remain. Remaining details include the price the man pays the inn keeper. This is not an essential detail in the previous interpretation. It is in the following.

The "Man" who was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho is mankind. Jerusalem in this case is a picture of heaven and it is from there that Adam’s race fell to earth. Jericho is physically much lower that Jerusalem. Jerusalem is on a hill high above the Jordan river valley. It was the place in Old Testament times where men went to find God, or to find access to heaven itself.

Jericho is below sea level at the foot of the mountain range, on the plain of Jericho, near the dead sea. This choice of cities pictures the fall of man, and his eventual destiny with Jericho. (Jericho is the city of the Harlot, a picture of an end-times nation, place, way of life and thinking. She is destroyed September 16, 2000, as the day-for-a-year system passes that eventful day again.)

Along the way the man is attacked and wounded by robbers and left half dead. The Robbers are Satan, and his demons, who have beat up mankind and left him half dead. The human race is alive physically, but without the Holy Spirit is dead spiritually. We are half dead.

The priest happens down the road and does nothing. Why? Because the priesthood of Aaron can do nothing to repair this injury. The Levites? Those who administered the Mosaic Law? Also unable to help, so they pass by on the other side. Neither of these offices is capable of repairing spiritual injuries, which is what this man needs. This is not as hard on these men as the first interpretation and gives us a better understanding of their offices.

The Samaritan, from a place which is important in many other stories as being the city where Jesus finds rest, and finds believers, is Jesus himself. He is able to help the man and does so. How? By pouring on oil and wine. Oil is symbolic of anointing, which is the root word in the word "Christ" and is pointing at Jesus’ giving of the Holy Spirit. Wine, symbolic of blood, pictures the Samaritan giving of his own blood on the Cross in order to heal the man.

Once the immediate wounds are taken care of the Samaritan puts the man on his own donkey. This pictures the abandonment of Jesus’ throne in Heaven, the donkey being symbolic of biblical kingship, and of Jesus’ willingness to walk on earth in order to heal mankind.

Finally, the Samaritan puts the man in the care of an inn keeper. Paying him 2 silver coins for his help. The inn keeper is the Holy Spirit, who is given charge over the man until the Samaritan returns to collect the wounded man. How long is the Samaritan paying the inn keeper for his services? Here two keys are needed to crack the riddle. The inn keeper is also God, so his days are 1000 years long, and we also need to know that God pays at the rate of one unit currency for one unit time. The inn keeper is being paid for two thousand years worth of work.

The Samaritan makes an interesting comment. If you have any other expenses I’ll cover them when I return. This from a man who usually pays a unit currency for any fraction of a day’s work. Why was this detail important to the story? The inn keeper will not have significant work on that third day. By telling the story this way Jesus is bounding the work of the Holy Spirit to be something very close to 2000 years exactly. We should not expect this to approach even one Jubilee after the 2000 year mark before this is all over.

The best start point for this story, like others in this section, is Jesus’ visit to the Temple at age 12, in the year 12. This was Jesus’ first independent visit to the Temple. The start of the entire parable is at Jerusalem, providing a triangulation on the start. Because the biblical calendar is slightly shorter than the Solar calendar, we hit the "two day" mark in 2010 and the inn keeper will have few if any responsibilities after that year. In other parts of the site we argue persuasively that the return of Jesus is early in 2010, and the departure is by 2030. These are the last 20 years of mankind in this house, after this the inn keeper has no guests.