single travelers. Jericho was a major economic center where officials of the Israelite church liked to hang out when off duty. There was a serious issue between the Israelites and the Samaritans. For sake of brevity, they disagreed on where to worship God and were long divided enemies based on this argument.
To the story: the victim is an Israelite, a member of the Hebrew nation. His companions and leaders come near him and refuse to help. There were purity laws to consider, days of uncleanliness if touching a corpse, and they went on past (even though this excuse would apply only if they were headed to the temple for work ... check their direction). An enemy of the fallen man, a Samaritan (Jesus enjoyed the shock value of this for his listeners I'm sure) comes upon the fallen man and does the extraordinary. Not only does he offer help, but his help is so complete it undoes all the harm committed against the man by the robbers and the officials who ignored him. The Samaritan bound the wounds, brought the injured man to an Inn, cared for him, and then entrusted the innkeeper with two month's worth of payment to make things right for this man. The Samaritan went further, trusting both the innkeeper and the injured party to be honest with how long total recovery took, by promising to return and repay the innkeeper for care and lodging for the man over and above the two month mark. In essence, the Samaritan did all within his power that he could to help this fallen man.
For the C.S. Lewis interpretation, see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2010/03/cs-lewis-explains-love-your-neighbor-as.html
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