Jesus and the Good Palestinian

And behold, a writer arose to test him, and she said, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26But Jesus said to her, “How is it written in the law? How do you understand it?” 27She answered and said to him, “You shall love THE LORD JEHOVAH your God from all your heart and from all your soul and from all your strength and from all your mind and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 Jesus said to her, “You have said correctly; do this and you shall live.” 29But as she wanted to justify herself, she said to him, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 Jesus said to her, “A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and robbers fell upon him. They plundered and beat him and left him for dead.” 31“And it happened a certain priest was going down that road and he saw him and passed by.” 32“And so also a bus full of Evangelical Christians touring the Holy City stopped near him. They exited the bus with their cameras in tow, their Bibles marked in pencil, neon tabs poking from the pages. They stopped short of the beaten man. Despair filling their hearts that even in Jerusalem bums and vagrants could lie naked on the street. They took pictures of a Holy site just beyond the man and then stepped back into their bus. Leaving the man and their concern behind them.” 33“But a Palestinian man as he traveled came where he was and he saw him and he took pity on him.” 34“And he came and cleaned his wounds and set him on the back of his motorcycle. He took him to a hospital and cared for him throughout the night.” 35“At the break of day, he produced two hundred dollars and gave them to the doctor and he said to him, ‘Take care of him and if you spend anything more, when I return I will give it to you.’ “ 36“Who therefore of these three appears to you to have been a neighbor to him who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37But she said, “He who took pity on him.” Yeshua said to her, “You go and do likewise.”

Jesus didn’t choose to tell the story of the “Good Jew.” An easy choice considering he was a Jewish man speaking to a Jewish audience. How easy is it to hear a story of a heroic American? Or an honorable Christian? Jesus’s narrative explicitly put the light within “The Other.” Why don’t we believe the Bible when it says, In Him was Life, and that Life was the Light of all Mankind. Not just Jews, not just Christians, or Americans, or Europeans. All Mankind.

Why are Christians ignoring the light within the Palestinian people? Why are 50 deaths and 2,000 injuries acceptable? Even one death is unacceptable. The Roman Empire thrived when oppressed people turned on each other. Who is benefitting now? Who thrives when the oppressed die? And who turns away?

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