THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN: Orthodoxy, Priesthood, Temple

Like intricately cut diamonds, Jesus’s parables offer multiple refractions on many intersecting issues. In the case of the parable of the Good Samaritan, I find many implications for issues such as race, finances, taxes, health insurance, temple, priesthood, orthodoxy, and love. Besides encouraging us to practice opportunistic and down- to-earth compassion, this parable subtly undercuts those who rely on narrowly viewed “orthodoxy” and offers a surprisingly stinging critique of those who focus on a spiritless experience with priesthood and the temple. I believe the parable calls us to radically redefine priesthood and temple worship as first and foremost centering on compassion. The session closes with an extended anti-Republican rant.

Todd Compton