Samaritan: What happened to you?
Wounded One: I was attacked by a sadistic robber.
Samaritan: Really? Which way did he go? I have to find him.
Wounded: Could you help me first before you bring him to justice?
Sam: Bring him to justice? No, I need to go find him and befriend him and show him unconditional love and help him see the error of his ways through long and patient counseling and maybe some lunches together at that sweet little inn in town.
Wounded: But . . . he took all my clothes.
Sam: Oh yeah, I noticed—that was how I could see the bruises all over your body. Hey, here’s my extra cloak. Take care, and remember that this suffering is for your good and your greatest problem is your own sin.
Samaritan: Hi, are you the one who robbed the Wounded One on the highway?
Robber: Oh yeah, my temper just got the better of me for a minute. I don’t know why it happened.
Sam: Hey, it happens to all of us. After all, we’re all sinners. I was wondering if you’d like to catch some lunch at that sweet little inn in town.
Rob: Oh yeah, that’d be great. I have some extra cash on me today.
Sam: Perfect, but it’ll be my treat. Let’s go. And, you know, I’d like to talk to you about learning to do the right thing because, you know, God commands it.
Rob: Absolutely. [A tear forms in his eye.] I want to do the right thing. My temper just gets the better of me sometimes.
Sam: Well, I know how that is, for sure. No condemnation here! In fact, the Bible says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and I’m not about to be the one pointing fingers.
Rob (at the inn, eating his lunch): This means a lot to me. Thank you.
Sam: Oh, don’t even mention it. It’s the least I can do, really. After all, when it comes to repentance, I’d rather err on the side of grace, you know what I mean? Look, I see plenty of evidences of grace in your life already. When I found you, you were counting your money, which indicates frugality. You’re carrying with you an extra set of clothes, which indicates forethought. You have great manners. Buddy, I could go on and on!
Wounded One appears in the doorway on all fours.
Sam: How did you get here?
WO: I crawled.
Sam: Look, this is really inconvenient. I have a tremendous gospel opportunity, right here, right now. If you come in, it could mess everything up. Anyway, if you pray about what you did wrong to cause what happened to you, I’m sure you can keep it from happening again. (turning back to Rob) Sorry for the interruption.
Rob (his mouth full of food, calling to Wounded One): Hey, I’m really sorry for what happened!
Sam: Whoa! Did you hear that? Wounded One, hey, now it’s on you. Forgiveness is mandated by the Scriptures, by Jesus Himself. Good job, Rob. I didn’t even have to bring it up! Fist bump!
WO: I need help.
Sam: Hey, Innkeeper, could you close that door? We’ve got some heckler interrupting our lunch.
This post was inspired by a Facebook post by Valerie Jacobsen, who adds that instead of this parable that represents the dire state of the modern evangelical church:
“If we’re bringing the true Gospel,
and if our expectation is that God Himself will raise the dead and replace stony hearts with hearts of flesh,
we can kindly care for victims
even as we urge perpetrators to humble themselves before the living God,
repent of their sins before him, confess their crimes, and make restitution.”