Who Is My Neighbor – The Refugee/Immigrant Edition


With all of the heated conversations I’ve  heard concerning immigration and the refugee crisis (often brought to the forefront by this election cycle), I’ve been constantly reminded of the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus tells in Luke 10:25–37. As Christians we have to be careful to think about these issues biblically, first and foremost not as an American or Republican/Democrat, but as Christians. With our current prejudices and divides, I wonder if Jesus’ answer to our question, “Who is my neighbor” might be a little more biting.

So below is the uninspired, errant, and fallible “Refugee/Immigrant Edition” of the parable of the Good Samaritan.

When Jesus came to the Southern US, a Sunday School teacher came to test Him, saying, “Preacher, what should I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus asked, “What does the OT law say? How do you interpret it?” The self-professed “evangelical” answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus responded, “You’ve answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”

But, this lifelong nationalist wanted to justify his own lifestyle, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus answered the question with a story:

“A man was driving from Atlanta to Jackson and got a flat tire on a desolate stretch of Highway. When he stopped to change the tire, some robbers carjacked him, beat him up and left him for dead on the side of the road. A pastor just happened to be driving down that road. When he saw the man, he locked the doors and sped quickly by. In the same way, a man who had been in church his entire life drove by, saw the man and sped quickly by. But a refugee/immigrant came by, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. He went over to him, tried to stop his bleeding and put him in his truck and drove him to the hospital. The next day, the immigrant cashed several days paychecks, took them to the hospital finance office and gave the money to the clerk, saying, “Take care of the man’s medical costs. When I come back I’ll pay whatever costs remain.”

Jesus looked at the red-blooded American and said, “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who was carjacked?” He replied, “The one who showed mercy to him.” Jesus responded, “Go and do the same.”