Prodigal Part 1, Skit
Golden Rule Game

The Good Samaritan
Chinese Bible Painting. Click here for larger view.

Click here for Overview * Background Notes * In the Arts * Questions for Discussion * Workshops * Revu from Good Sam 1




A remarkable tale of the unexpected kindness that can come from strangers, this story tells of a traveller from Samaria who stops to help a badly injured man.


July Year B


Arts (bandaid scenes), Kitchen (chicken pies), Drama (news streeter videos), Game (Heal thy neighbour Tag), Outreach (prayer shawl), Computer (Good Sam program, Movie Maker program or mock newspaper front page with Citizen of the Year).

Luke 10: 25 - 37. Read this.

Luke 10: 36 - 37.

"Which is these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?" He [the lawyer] said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." (NRSV)



The Samaritan was:

a person who came from Samaria. An area between Judah and Galilee, inhabited by remnants of the northern tribes of ancient Israel who worshiped the Lord God and used the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. (from footnotes in the New Oxford Annotated Bible)


To see Samaria on a map of Palestine in the time of Christ, click this link: Old-fashioned Map of Samaria.

Deeper tensions than country of origin. Jews did not acknowledge the authenticity of the Samaritan observances. Yet in this story the Samaritan, a foreigner who would be less expected to show sympathy to the injured man, was moved to pity.

The Jericho Road.

The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was about 30 km long with a drop in elevation from about 760 m to 250 m below sea level. This road was notoriously dangerous.

This story is a parable.

A parable is a narrative of imagined events used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson (the Canadian Oxford Dictionary).

Basic outline of this parable.

Jesus tells this fable of the foreigner who encounters a man that has been badly beaten by robbers on a nasty stretch of road. Other fellow citizens of the victim have already crossed the road to avoid him. Yet this stranger tends the victim’s wounds, loads him on his own animal, gets him to an inn, and guarantees further care from the innkeeper with payment from the Samaritan’s own pocket. The odd and different stranger has gone well beyond the call of duty.

Context for this parable.

Jesus has outlined this story in response to the conversation with the lawyer, which starts at Luke 10:25. (Lawyer here means an expert in the law of Moses, likely means the same as ‘scribe’ and is affiliated with the Pharisees [also from footnotes in the NOAB cited above.]) The lawyer has asked Jesus how to attain eternal life. Jesus has confirmed that the answer the scribe has given from the law — to love God with all your heart, and your neighbour as yourself — is correct. The scribe now pushes the envelope and asks Jesus, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ Jesus’s answer is to tell this story.

So what does this mean?

It means for sure that anyone who passes by without helping is not a terribly good neighbour. It means that sometimes being a neighbour involves risk — the Samaritan could easily have been the robbers’ next victim. It means that truly good neighbours can be people with whom we don’t ordinarily feel we have much in common. They may turn out to be people that we have many suspicions about. It means that this kind of extreme neighbourliness is the final answer to the lawyer’s question about eternal life. It would have been a hard answer for the scribe to hear. It continues to be a tough response for good citizens of any generation.


There aren’t any women in this story. But there’s another equally memorable Gospel story featuring a Samaritan — the Samaritan woman Jesus talks to at Jacob’s well from John 4: 5 – 42. The conversation between Jesus and the woman reveals more and more reasons why, by the thinking of the time, Jesus shouldn’t be talking to her at all. Their exchange, its content rather than tone, gives a bit more of an idea of the tensions that existed at the time between Jews and Samaritans.

In the arts.

The story of the Good Samaritan has stimulated the human imagination for centuries. There’s some wonderful art at the following web location, including various studies by Rembrandt, as well as paintings by him, Van Gogh and many others. Take some time and browse through the selections yourself. Click here for Lots of Good Samaritan Art.


1. Does being a good neighbour have anything to do with where you live?

2. Have you ever been in a situation where being a good neighbour and doing what you knew was the right thing involved some risk to you? Or even threatened your personal safety?

3. How would being a good neighbour help you inherit eternal life

4. What does ‘eternal life’ mean to you?


Every week, for all age groups, do these 2 things before beginning your activity with the children:

1. Remind them of the Bible summary they have been studying. Have them summarize to date. See how much more they remember from the weeks before.

2. Explain how today's activity connects with the Bible story.



Have the children depict a scene from the story using first aid things, like bandaids, gauze, medical tape , black thread (for stitches) -- as well as markers, etc. Remind them they are using these items to highlight the care and assistance that the Good Samaritan offered the injured man.


A dish you can bring to a neighbour in need that can be pulled out of the freezer when needed.

Fill frozen pie shells with the meat mixture. Use a 2nd shell for the top crust.

Meat mixture consists of: 3 - 4 cooked chicken breasts, 4 med potatoes, 2 small - med carrots, 1 sm bag frozen peas, 1 pkg St. Hubert or Swiss Chalet gravy. 1 sm onion.

Cut meat into bite size pieces, veg into small pieces. Place all into microwaveable dish with prepared gravy and cook on high for 10 mins.

Fill 3-4 bottom shells with filling. Cover each filled shell with another shell for top.

Make a card for your gift that says "Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour."

Either freeze first , or give the pies with instructions to freeze to your Pastoral Care team for distribution to a church member in need.


MATERIALS: Cloth strips or bandanas for bandages.

Variation of Freeze Tag. One person is IT. When IT touches someone, they become a neighbour in need (and are frozen). To become unfrozen (or healed), someone has to tie a bandage (cloth strip or bandana) around an arm or leg. The last person unfrozen becomes IT.
-- Jericho Road Obstacle Course. The road to Jericho was steep and difficult. Get 2 teams to go thru an obstacle course and see which one makes it first. Obstacle course can be made out of simple objects found around home or church - step over chairs, go thru hopscotch type hoops, crabwalk part way, balance pile of hats to finish line.
Good Sam Red Light, Green Light - the good sam is the caller - the good sam helps them down the road and is waitin g for them at the end.


ACTIVITY: Splice together video clips of responses from men and women "on the street" after the event happened. In journalism, this is called a "streeter."

Characters: Reporter, injured man, Good Sam, innkeeper, other eyewitness (who could in fact be robbers in disguise), aloof business types who may have 'walked past" the injured man. Invent other eyewitnesses such as mother with baby, bratty skateboard boy, bubblegum girls....

Comments from people on the street don't usually run much past 2 mins. Tape an intro and extro by your reporter. Make sure the reporter is heard in the clip asking the question to be answered.

Splice all the interviews together with intro and extro to form a news report.

Create an opportunity to have a screening of your reports with your church family.


ACTIVITY: Make a shawl or blanket to comfort someone in your church.

Materials: Piece of polar fleece, 4 foot square, beads.


Fringe or pre-fringe all four sides of the cloth. (Polar fleece has been chosen here because it cuts without fraying). This size has been chosen because it's large enough for a blanket, but can be folded down into a triangular shawl. A shawl that's more like a narrow rectangle would also work, and be cheaper. You just wouldn't be able to spend as much time personalizing the edges.

Have the children sit around the edges of the cloth. If it has been possible to pre-determine a recipient, tell the children enough information about the person so that the children will understand why the shawl will help. Recipient could be someone who is receiving medical treatment for something like cancer, for someone who has lost a family member and needs a hug, for a family that has a new baby, for a family that has recently moved into your community.

The children go around and say a small word of prayer, either out loud or silent, for the recipient. For each prayer, a knot is tied in the strand of fringe. They can slide a bead on the fringe before knotting, if they wish.

When finished, give the prayer shawl to your Pastoral Care team for delivery to a a church member. Explain to the children that this way they can be Good Samaritans too.


1. The "Good Samaritan from Sunday Software does sound very good.

2. Use an animated movie program like Movie Maker to dramatize this story. This story has lots of characters and actions.

3. Mock newspaper story. Use a simple wordprocessing program to develop the front page of a town paper where a Good Samaritan type character wins the Citizen of the Year award. Drop in some clip art. Write the overview story. Write a couple of sidebars from people like the Mayor, the injured man's response a year later, the robbers' responses (reformed by the Good Sam's example?!?), the innkeeper...



1. Arts -- First Aid Kits

2. Field Trip -- Visit ambulance station

3. Object theatre play -- The Good Spatula. Find it here

4. Video -- Veggie Tales, 'Are you my neighbour?'

For more detail on Good Samaritan 1 on Rotation.ca, click here.


Good Samaritan 2 Rotation © December 2006, LD McKenzie ............................................

All original text 2004 - 2014, LD McKenzie

For a brief site ed's bio, click here:


Components of these lesson sets may be used for non-profit educational purposes, citing this author and site.

free web counter