Strange enough, that the Good neighbour is a Samaritan, not just leper, tax-collector. Samaritan is consciously distanced stranger. Samaritan himself is reflected in the wounded traveller who is treated as a distanced stranger. His coming near shows that he is not afraid, he spends his oil and wine, looks after him. The unknown in the stranger is not necessarily to be suspected of being harmful to us. Remember that it was strangers that offered blessing to Abraham, and it was at a stranger's voice the hearts of the disciples were filled with new strength of life.
The priest and the Levite conveniently bypassed the needy. their status could defend their passing by because they had to keep themselves pure. The Lawyer also is trying to bypass Jesus, yet he is justifying his passing by by asking a 'noble' question.
Now the question comes to us: whose neighbour I am, and to whom I am a neighbour. Perhaps, at times we need to be a generous provider, but we may also have to be a humble receiving neighbour too. Jesus received the care of neighbour from Simon of Cyrene on the way to Calvary, and from the thief at his right side on the cross. he responded in gentle words, and to the thief at his left in silence.
provider. Provider with ulterior motive and pride cannot be a neighbour.
It is all in neighbourhood we are nourished, strengthened, hurt, broken, cared, healed, and raised up. What we have received will form in us the shape of our neighbouring to others. True Word of life we receive in neighbourhood, and we live by it. Thus neighbourhood is the new covenant, a new way of being with others. It is also a work of grace/ spirit. Every neighbourhood bond opens a grace channel for us. Some do break such channels and we are deprived of grace leaving us in pain. But abundance of other neighbourhood bonds can heal and strengthen and place us into the web of life, and there is peace.
_____________________Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)