In the well-known parable of Jesus three people ‘see’ an
injured man by the side of a deserted road. But only one ‘sees
with compassion’. We might say that the Samaritan’s heart
went out to the injured man.
The same word for compassion used for the Samaritan is used
frequently for Jesus, like when his heart goes out to the crowds
who throng around him, or to individuals who are in need of his
healing. The Samaritan is also very vulnerable, stopping to
help, getting the man to an inn, and promising to pay whatever
more is needed. What if he is taken advantage of?
To me this story highlights the compassion of Jesus for every
person, and the compassion of Jesus for each of us; wounded,
broken. Jesus carries us, heals us, gives us a future, and he fills
us with his compassion to see others more as he sees them, so
that our hearts will go out to those whom Jesus calls us to
serve; and we might be surprised by whom Jesus calls to serve
us when we are in need of that help. It’s being a neighbour,
both in receiving and giving.