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Aquarian age good samaritan
by Rev. Howard Ray Carey

One of Jesus' best known and most loved parables has given rise to an oft-quoted phrase common in everyday speech: the reference is to this or that 'good Samaritan' who has tried, sometimes with success, to give help to some stranger in need. The poignant story from which the expression is drawn was Jesus' response to a question from a lawyer who simply asked, ''Who is my neighbor?''

Jesus replied that a man, going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among robbers who stripped and beat him, leaving him by the roadside half dead. Note the symbolism as it applies to us. Is it not when we are descending from our holy city (Jerusalem) to the lower planes of experience that we fall among the thieves of our lower desires, and separative, prideful thoughts? Have we not all experienced how these felons strip, rob and beat us, leaving us gasping beside life's highway ---- sometimes even more than half dead, as far as our true life is concerned?

Next Jesus notes that two religious leaders came along that same road, first a priest and then a Levite or assistant minister. But both passed by on the other side of the road. Let us inquire within ourselves: is there a religious or pious aspect of our personality which is too busy or too 'holy' to look into the wounded aspects of our condition and provide resuscitation? Sadly I perceive that in my own life this has too often been the case.

Now, however, comes the part of the story where that which has fallen is raised up. A Samaritan (these were the despised and outcast people at that time) discovered the wounded man. He had compassion on him, administering oil and wine, the best first aid treatment then available. Then the Samaritan set him on his own beast of burden, and took him to an inn ---- which also served as hospital. There he personally took care of him. He also made a down payment on the hospital bill and promised to pay the balance, whatever it might amount to, ''when I come again.''

The account concludes with Jesus inquiring of the lawyer which of the three ---- priest, Levite, or Samaritan ---- proved neighbor to the man who fell among robbers. This learned and privileged man of the law apparently could not quite bring him-self to say those two words, 'the Samaritan'. But even with his reluctance he had to acknowledge ''the one who showed mercy on him.''  Don't you love the closing words of Jesus?  For, without pronouncing any direct word of rebuke, He simply bids the man: ''Go and do thou likewise.'' What a lesson!

Now it should not be difficult for us to identify the one who proves to be the good Samaritan in our lives: namely, the Christ consciousness of love-wisdom ---- not only coming to birth in our heart center, but growing step by step into maturity, thus coming into control of our personality. This inner power lifts us up from our wounded and broken condition. He, as our higher Self, ministers to us in countless ways, bringing restoration, healing and wholeness. How could we possibly make it without His oil for healing, and the wine of the intuition which this higher Self provides?

Now, as we are entering the Aquarian Age, let us inquire how this symbolic truth may apply to all humanity. Doubtless we are aware of how severely mankind has been beaten, robbed, stripped and pillaged by the marauders on life's Jericho road. Indeed our civilization has been left in a dying state by the selfish, separative interests too long left in control of the world's resources. And we religionists, the priests and Levites of today, sometimes have been too preoccupied with our own sectarian religious 'duties'. Thus, all too often, we have looked the other way, and passed by on the far side of the road.

But thank heaven the Christ has heard the cries of earth's suffering children, the many agonized cries for help rising from all parts of the globe. And He has responded. He comes now at this crucial hour of the world's need. He comes to administer His precious 'oil and wine' in the form of shared bread for the starving millions, and to lift humanity out of its broken and fragmented condition. Yes, and to bring us to that inn of light and love and joy where there is nurture and healing for all. Let us recognize him as man's true 'Samaritan' for this New Age; the Water Carrier for this thirsty world, bringing the Water of Life to all who will receive it. But we must heed His urgent call to us, for our help and co-operation. As He holds up before us the shining example of the compassionate Samaritan neighbor, can we not hear His clear call to us: ''Go and do thou likewise.''

We must embody His way of love for all. We must take His way of sharing, the Samaritan's way of the good neighbor. We must add our weight, however small it may seem, to the lifting of the heavy load of our brothers' need. Does this task seem too great?   The burden too heavy?  Let us remember that we march under His banner and in His strength of love, sharing, justice and brotherhood. He blazes the trail, He leads the way, He imparts to us His strength and wisdom. Let us know that in him we cannot fail. We have His promise of victory, a promise that is valid through all time, and for eternity as well. Listen! Is He not saying with love to all of us: ''Go and do thou likewise''? And He trusts us not to fail him and our sisters and brothers in need.

This article is a chapter from The Joy of Christ's Coming This book by the late Rev. Howard Ray Carey was published by Share International Foundation in 1988. It is not currently available in hard copy form. Copyright © Share International Foundation.  Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard version unless otherwise indicated. 

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First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005