DO YOU know what prejudice is?— Well, prejudice is not liking someone simply because he may look different or may speak a different language. So being prejudiced is having a bad feeling or a belief about someone before you really get to know him.
Do you think it is right not to like someone before you really know what kind of person he is or just because he is different?— No, prejudice is not right, and neither is it kind. We should not be unkind to someone just because he may be different from us.
Think about it. Do you know anyone whose skin color is different from yours or who speaks a language different from yours?— Maybe you even know people who look different because they have been hurt or they have a sickness. Are you kind and loving to those who are different from you?—
If we listen to the Great Teacher, Jesus Christ, we will be kind to everyone. It should not make any difference to us what country a person may come from or what color his skin is. We should be kind to him. Although this is not what all people believe, it is a lesson Jesus taught. Let’s talk about it.
A Jew who was prejudiced toward others came to Jesus and asked the question, ‘What must I do to live forever?’ Jesus knew that the man was probably trying to get him to say we should be kind only to people of our own race or nationality. So instead of answering the question himself, Jesus asked the man: ‘What does God’s Law say we must do?’
The man answered: ‘You must love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and you must love your neighbor as yourself.’ Jesus said: ‘You answered right. Keep on doing this and you will get everlasting life.’
The man, however, did not want to be kind or loving to people who were different from him. So he tried to find an excuse. He asked Jesus: “Who really is my neighbor?” He may have wanted Jesus to say: “Your neighbors are your friends” or, “They are people who look the same as you do.” To answer the question, Jesus told a story about a Jew and a Samaritan. This is how it went.
A man was going down the road from the city of Jerusalem to Jericho. This man was a Jew. As he was walking along, robbers grabbed him. They knocked him down and took his money and his clothes. The robbers beat him up and left him half dead beside the road.
A short time later, a priest came along that road. He saw the man who was badly hurt. What would you have done?— Well, the priest just went by on the opposite side of the road. He didn’t even stop. He didn’t do anything at all to help the man.
Then another very religious man came down the road. He was a Levite who served at the temple in Jerusalem. Would he stop to help?— No. He did the very same thing that the priest did.
Finally, a Samaritan came along. Can you see him coming around the bend in the road?— He saw the Jew lying there badly hurt. Now, most Samaritans and Jews did not like one another at all. (John 4:9) So would this Samaritan leave the man without helping him? Would he say to himself: ‘Why should I help this Jew? He would not help me if I was hurt’?
Well, the Samaritan looked at the man lying beside the road, and he felt sorry for him. He could not leave him there and let him die. So he got off his animal, went over to the man, and began caring for his wounds. He poured oil and wine upon them. This would help the wounds to heal. Then he wrapped up the wounds with a cloth.
The Samaritan gently lifted the hurt man onto his animal. Then they went slowly down the road until they came to an inn, or small hotel. There the Samaritan got a place for the man to stay, and he took good care of him.
Now Jesus asked the man he was talking to: ‘Who of these three men do you think was the good neighbor?’ What would you say? Was it the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan?—
The man answered: ‘The man who stopped and took care of the hurt man was the good neighbor.’ Jesus said: ‘You are right. Go your way and do the same yourself.’
Wasn’t that a fine story? It makes clear who our neighbors are. They are not just our close friends. And they are not just people who have the same skin color as we do or speak the same language. Jesus taught us to be kind to people regardless of where they are from, what they look like, or what language they speak.
This is the way Jehovah God is. He is not prejudiced. ‘Your Father who is in heaven makes his sun rise on bad people and good people,’ Jesus said. ‘And he makes the rain fall on good people and those who are not good.’ So, then, we should be kind to all, just as God is.
So if you see someone hurt, what will you do?— What if the person is from a different country or his skin color is different from yours? He is still your neighbor, and you should help him. If you feel too small to help, then you can ask an older person for help. Or you can call a policeman or a schoolteacher. That is being kind, like the Samaritan man.
The Great Teacher wants us to be kind. He wants us to help others, no matter who they may be. That is why he told the story about the kind Samaritan.