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Good Samaritan

injured shown medieval neighbor

Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan is recounted in *Luke 10:29-37. He was responding to a lawyer who had asked for a definition of “neighbor,” so as to follow the commandment of loving one’s neighbor as oneself. Although the *Jews who worshipped in Jerusalem were hostile toward the Samaritans, the Samaritan in Jesus’ story assisted a man who had been robbed and beaten while traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. A priest and Levite had previously chosen to disregard the injured man. In contrast, the charity and compassion shown by the Samaritan was a model of acting as a neighbor. Medieval authors expanded the interpretation to describe *Christ as the Good Samaritan who saves and redeems humankind when Judaism fails to do so. Hence,   the Good Samaritan is often shown as Christ, assisting the injured traveler, bathing and bandaging his wounds, taking him to an inn, and paying the innkeeper for his food and lodging. *Angels may also be present. The subject was popular throughout early Christian and medieval art.
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