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  • Writer's pictureTrace Pirtle

National Good Samaritan Day: Embracing Biblical Compassion

It nearly slipped my awareness, but National Good Samaritan Day is March 13th each year. Considering all the other holidays that dot our calendars, it seems that National Good Samaritan Day should be one of them. After all, it's a day to "show kindness and compassion for those in need by giving back to our communities." We need more of that today. Many of you give back in a multitude of ways. You make a difference daily, from grand projects to a simple hand to a child falling off his bike. 



National Good Samaritan Day and Biblical Compassion


National Good Samaritan Day should remind us of the profound lessons we discover within Jesus Christ's timeless parable. The call to embrace biblical compassion resonates more deeply than ever in a world marked by divisions, strife, and suffering.


Division and strife are as likely to be seen within the contemporary Christian church as in a local sports bar. We need to clarify what it means to be a Christian and whether or not there is a difference between the sacred and the secular. The world is changing, but God's Word isn't.


So, all we need to do is return to the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. We each have the "Good Samaritan" within us.


The Gospel of Luke and the Good Samaritan


The Gospel of Luke (10:25-37) tells the story of a good Samaritan. This story transcends its historical context to offer us enduring wisdom about love, kindness, and the essence of humanity. It begins with a question posed to Jesus by a lawyer: "And who is my neighbor?" In response, Jesus unfolds a narrative that challenges societal norms and confronts human hearts with the radical nature of compassion.


In this parable, a traveler is beaten, robbed, and abandoned on the roadside. Religious leaders, including priests and Levites, pass by without extending aid, perhaps consumed by their agendas, schedules, or prejudices. The Samaritan, considered an outsider and despised by the Jewish community, stops to offer assistance. He tends to the wounded man's wounds, provides for his needs, and ensures his safety, demonstrating a compassion that knows no bounds.


The Samaritan's actions underscore the essence of biblical compassion: a love that transcends barriers of ethnicity, religion, and social status. His example challenges us to examine our hearts and attitudes toward what society often marginalizes or overlooks. Are we willing to extend compassion beyond familiarity and comfort, as the Samaritan did?


Good Samaritans in the News

Jonathan Smith Saves Dozens During Las Vegas Shooting (2017)


Jonathan Smith shielded and escorted numerous concertgoers to safety during the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, in October 2017. Despite being shot in the neck, Smith continued to assist others until he found safety. His heroic actions saved the lives of approximately 30 people.


Homeless Man Saves Deputy from Burning Vehicle After Innocent Woman Is Killed in Police Chase Crash


In an extraordinary act of heroism, a homeless man came to the rescue of a deputy trapped inside a burning vehicle following a devastating police chase crash in Florida. The incident unfolded when a suspect fleeing from law enforcement crashed into an innocent woman's car, causing it to burst into flames with the deputy trapped inside. Witnessing the harrowing scene, the homeless man swiftly intervened, risking his life to help the deputy escape the blazing wreckage. His selfless act saved the deputy's life and highlighted the compassion and bravery found even in the most unexpected circumstances.


Kayak Rescue is a Good Samaritan Story


Here's a heartwarming story of a Sanford Health employee who became a Good Samaritan during a kayaking trip in Minnesota. While enjoying the serene waters, the employee noticed a distressed kayaker struggling to stay afloat and immediately sprung into action to help. Displaying courage and kindness, the employee paddled towards the struggling individual, offering assistance and saving the kayaker from potential danger. This act of selflessness exemplifies the values of compassion and community, reminding us of the power of lending a helping hand in times of need.


National Good Samaritan Day Summary


National Good Samaritan Day invites us to reflect on how we can embody the spirit of the Good Samaritan in our daily lives. It beckons us to reach out to the marginalized, the oppressed, and the hurting with genuine empathy and care. As followers of Christ, we are called to profess our faith and practice it through acts of love and service.


Biblical compassion goes beyond mere sentiment or pity; it demands action. It challenges us to step out of our comfort zones, to inconvenience ourselves for the sake of others, and to advocate for justice and mercy in a broken world. It compels us to see the image of God reflected in every person we encounter, regardless of their circumstances or background.


On this National Good Samaritan Day, let us recommit ourselves to the transformative power of biblical compassion. May we heed the words of Jesus, who declared, "Go and do likewise" (Luke 10:37), and emulate the selfless love exemplified by the Good Samaritan. In doing so, we participate in God's redemptive work, bringing healing, hope, and restoration to a world in desperate need of compassion.


If you need a brief summary of Luke Chapter 10, you can find it here.


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About Me

Image of Dr. Trace Pirtle sitting on park bench identified as Jesus.

Greetings, I'm Trace!
I'm a retired counselor education professor who spent 35 years in the "helping professions." I'm a U.S. Air Force veteran who served as a Missile Launch Officer with I.C.B.M's during the Cold War (1980's). Today, I'm an "all-in" believer working full-time for our Lord Jesus Christ. I've included my personal testimony if you are interested. 
May God bless you beyond your wildest dreams!

In His Service,

Trace Pirtle

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