Allegory has been a common way of interpreting Scripture through Christian history. St. Augustine shared an allegorical interpretation of the Good Samaritan parable: The traveler is humanity, descending from God’s holy city of Jerusalem, set upon by sin, then rescued and healed by Jesus.
What I find most appealing is Augustine’s vision of the inn to which the Samaritan takes the traveler. It’s the Church, entrusted by Jesus to heal. And what’s the Church, this Body of Christ? It’s us.
Often, my takeaway from this parable is, unfortunately, judgment of those who pass by the traveler (which of course can’t be me!). But this ancient view expands my understanding, bringing me into the story in a different way: I’m part of that safe place that Jesus has entrusted to care for hurting travelers on the journey. Are my doors open?
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