At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Jesus thanks God for revealing to us what had been hidden to the wise. Those who had studied God’s work (people like the Pharisees) had largely misunderstood it. But the spiritual babies, people like the disciples, people like you and me, have been given understanding by God through His Son. I’ll be honest, the Prophets tend to befuddle me. I have non idea what they’re going on and on and on and on about! But through the context of Jesus, even I can understand certain passages. Jesus just made everything make sense! Plus, you know, he pretty much spells it out for us in the Gospels, so there’s that too.
Like in the Parable. The learned men leave the injured man on the side of the road. No doubt they say to themselves something like “It’s God’s will, I must not interfere,” or “I cannot afford to make myself unclean by touching him.” But the lowly Samaritan, practically the mortal enemy of the Jews, completely ignorant about God, stops to take care of him. Which man really understood God?
See, the thing is, when we try to interpret scripture as a way to set rules, or to predetermine our actions, we tend to get it horribly wrong. The Crusades, for instance. What Jesus sort of tells us to do instead is to follow our hearts. Wow, that’s incredibly cliche. But for a reason! Our conscience will happily let us know what is right and what is wrong. Who knows, that could even be the Holy Spirit speaking to us! Trust your instincts. But when in doubt, don’t treat those around you with rules, treat them with love. Especially when the world has left them battered and broken.