If you ask someone to name one parable from the Bible, they’ll probably mention the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25–37.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the story: A man is severely beaten and robbed, a priest and a Levite ignore him, but a Samaritan breaks cultural norms and risks his life to save the man’s life by treating his wounds and paying for him to stay and recover in an inn. Jesus shared this parable in response to a lawyer’s question about who his neighbors are and what responsibility he has to them.
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, together with our faithful supporters, aims to act as this Samaritan did in how we stand with our neighbors: Israel and the Jewish people. So often we see them treated unjustly all over the world for one reason: because they are Jewish. But the most common response we see throughout the world isn’t to love them or rally to their cause. Instead, they are condemned both on social media and in national politics. Many use words towards Israel and the Jewish people like “occupation” and “racist” to justify the injustices they’ve suffered.
Let’s identify the parable’s three passersby in modern culture.
Think of the priest who first walked by the beaten man. Luke writes that the priest “saw him” and “passed by on the other side.” First-century priests were not only religious leaders; they were also highly skilled in matters of the law. Despite his lofty position, the priest in this parable felt no obligation to help the oppressed man. There simply could be too much at risk to help.
Little has changed in the past 2,000 years in that regard. Some politicians today have treated the Jewish people with the same apathy, unwilling to lend a hand for support. Many federal government leaders consider Israel an apartheid state, and they don’t denounce Palestinian terror attacks on the Jewish people in Israel. With their silence, they might as well be commending these incidents. The priest was similarly absent in the beaten man’s time of need, and with his inaction, he might as well have just said, “I care more about my place in society and politics than I do about your suffering.”
Then think of the Levite, a religious authority who “came and looked, and passed by on the other side.” This is so often the case for many people watching the plight of the Jewish people today. Anti-Semitic hate crimes, though always present, have been trending upward in America and throughout the world. This hatred is often met not with opposition but indifference.
Today some religious leaders, many of whom proclaim the name of Christ, offer no assistance to the Jewish people in need of physical and spiritual salvation. Under the guise of Replacement Theology, some preachers “wash their hands” of the call to bless God’s people. They try to take the Jewish people’s promised blessings for themselves while conspicuously leaving the promised curses out of their teaching.
That leaves the Samaritan, the outcast with no natural reason to help the beaten man. He has nothing to gain from offering his help. It would be an inconvenience to give his time, effort, and money to help a stranger. Yet he fulfills the role of a loving neighbor to the man in the parable with selfless action. He doesn’t just offer some intangible well wishes toward the man; he physically works to ensure the man’s health and safety are restored by bandaging his wounds, setting him on his animal, bringing him to an inn, and paying for his recovery.
With this example, those of us who support Israel and the Jewish people are striving to show this same neighborly love, which Jesus said in Mark 12:31 is the second greatest commandment only behind loving the Lord Himself. The Jewish people are strong and resilient, but they are often left alone in the fight to live normal lives many of us take for granted.
Our hope is that our work for Israel and the Jewish people will be a beacon of God’s love throughout this broken world.
Rather than offering just goodwill and positive thoughts, our partners in the mission here at The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry have committed to being the hands and feet of the Lord to minister to the Jewish people, His people whom He has called all to bless. Together we work in oppressed areas of the world to provide for their physical needs by offering supplies and medicine; building bomb shelters; and providing funds for rehab facilities, free medical and birth clinics, aid packages, and legal representation. With active ministers of the gospel in 15 countries, we tend to their spiritual needs as we do with everyone by sharing the truth about the Messiah and the joy of salvation. Without hope of personal gain, we aim to show the same type of love to the Jewish people the Samaritan showed toward the beaten man.
Our hope is that our work for Israel and the Jewish people will be a beacon of God’s love throughout this broken world. As we devote ourselves to this ministry, it is our hope that many would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the One who can save us from our sins and guarantee our eternity spent with God the Father.
Would you partner with us as we share the Messiah’s love throughout the world? Give Today.