Syrian Refugees and the Good Samaritan

Luke10.25-29

There has been a lot of talk about Syrian refugees lately so I thought I would take a shot at explaining my views of the discussions.  To be completely honest, I’m quite sad to find that over half of US governors have said that they would not provide placement for Syrian refugees based on the argument that it would pose too great of a risk to national security.  Before you decide to stop reading if you disagree with me, I would like to challenge you to hear me out and read until the end. 

After reading and listening to different discussions on the topic of Syrian refugees, I can’t help but to think of the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10:29-37.  Let me give you a little background information.  A few verses before the story begins, an expert in the Jewish religious law tried to test Jesus by asking him what he must do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus replies with the question, “What is written in the Law?” and “How do you interpret it?”  The expert responds “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus told him that he answered correctly but the expert then asked him, “Who is my neighbor?”  This is when the Jesus begins to tell the parable of the Good Samaritan.

During Jesus’ time, Jews and Samaritans were not friendly towards one another.  The Jews considered themselves pure descendants of Abraham whereas the Samaritans were a mixed race of the Jews and therefor considered not as “good.”  In the parable, a man was attacked by robbers and left half dead.  A priest and a Levite (Israelite tribe in charge of performing religious duties) passed the injured man on the other side of the road.  The Samaritan (considered to be an outcast) took pity on him, bandaged his wounds, and paid two denarii (a denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer) for the man to stay at an inn and for the innkeeper to look after him.

Now, which of the three people who passed the man in need of help would we be?  It is sad to see so many “Christians” take on the role of the priest and Levite and refuse to help, although well equipped to do so, the man in need, in this case, I’m referring to Syrian refugees.  I understand that we should definitely be cautious as to who we let into our country as we need to protect the people who are already here.  But if we are completely honest with ourselves, we should be more concerned of protecting ourselves from those who are already here killing and murdering people than refugees as we are more likely to be a victim of an attack by an American citizen than a refugee.  But that’s another story.

In the story of Job is another reminder of the role that I feel America is playing in its stand on Syrian refugees.  Job 22:7-9 reads:

You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, though you were a powerful man, owning land, an honored man, living on it.  And you sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless.

So, to my fellow American brothers and sisters, I understand your concern for our safety.  But I think we should have more compassion for the millions of innocent people who are attempting to flee their war torn homes.  It is unimaginable what many of them have been through and is something that many of us will never truly begin to understand.  I sincerely believe that Jesus would love the very people that many of us are looking down on.

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