Did the Good Samaritan go to heaven? (What happened to the Good Samaritan?)

As a staunch Christian, I believe we must help the less fortunate. That is why I loved the Good Samaritan story at bible school. The Good Samaritan was not a believer, yet he showed compassion to a Jewish man. I was even more intrigued by the story after learning about the animosity between the Jews and Samaritans. During my last semester, my professor asked me to write a detailed paper on the “Good Samaritan.” I had eye-opening conversations with several scholars and professors in theology to hear their thoughts on this topic. Last Friday, during our church meeting, a colleague voiced his great disappointment in the priest who failed to help the injured man. He wanted to know if the act of kindness earned the Good Samaritan a spot in heaven. Thanks to the research I did speaking to experts in theology, I was in a great place to answer that question. So, did the Good Samaritan go to heaven?

According to many Christian doctrines, the Good Samaritan may have earned his spot in heaven through his good deeds. Though he may not have known about God, he knew the difference between right and wrong. The Good Samaritan proved to have better character than a Levite and priest who refused to help a wounded man on the side of the road.

Join me as we talk about one of the most heartwarming parables Jesus told during his ministry. Read along to find out if the Good Samaritan ended up in heaven.

What is the meaning of the parable of the Good Samaritan?

Before we get into the parable, you must remember that Jews and Samaritans did not see eye to eye. These tribes hated each other so much that they would not share cutlery or water. In John 4:4, Jesus visits a small town in Samaria where he sits near a well. When a Samaritan woman approaches the well, Jesus asks the lady for water. Being a Samaritan and Jesus a Jew, the woman hesitated. She reminded Jesus that it was taboo for Jews and Samaritans to mingle in such a way.

According to the parable, a Jewish man was attacked on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho. The robbers took all his possessions and beat him up severely. A priest happened to be walking by and saw the injured man. Instead of helping as you would expect, he passed on the opposite side and left the man lying there in pain. A Levite walked the same route and saw the injured Jewish man and avoided him the way the priest did. Then a Samaritan going the same way saw the battered man on the road and decided to help him.

When he finished telling the story, Jesus asked the lawyer who was a good neighbor among the three characters in the parable. The scholar said the Good Samaritan was the real neighbor because he showed compassion to the Jewish man despite their ethnic differences. Jesus wanted to show how Christians should show real love according to the law. The parable means that a true neighbor lends a helping hand in times of trouble.

What happened to the Good Samaritan?

Did the Good Samaritan go to heaven? 
What happened to the Good Samaritan? Image source: Pixabay

In the book of Luke 10: 30-37, Jesus has an interesting exchange of ideas with an expert in the then law. The man stands up in the synagogue to put Jesus on the spot with an important question. The lawyer asks Jesus what he must do to achieve eternal life after death. Jesus replies by asking the lawyer to repeat the words written in law. The man said that the law requires human beings to love God with everything in them and love their neighbors as much as they love themselves. When Jesus heard his reply, He told the law expert that the love of God and one another is the way to attain eternal life.

The law expert was not satisfied with Jesus’ response, so he continued to question Jesus. The lawyer asked again. “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied with the parable of the Good Samaritan. When the Good Samaritan saw the wounded man, he did not just walk by. The Samaritan made an effort to wash the Jew’s wounds and applied some oil. It takes a lot of compassion to change plans on behalf of a stranger. By stopping to help the Jew, the Samaritan showed purity in his heart. Incidentally, the fact that he had the money made all the difference. He rented a room for the victim and promised to pay the innkeeper to house the man and take care of him. Such generosity is rare in this world, even among men of God such as priests.

Did the Good Samaritan believe in God before he died?

The Bible doesn’t say if the Good Samaritan believed in God. However, history states that the Samaritans and the Jews did not believe in the same God. Furthermore, Jesus does not speak about the death of the Good Samaritan. There is nowhere in scripture where it talks about the details of the Good Samaritan’s life. Maybe this is because the Good Samaritan was a fictional character that Jesus used to convey a message of brotherly love as the secret to eternal life.

Why do some Bible commentators believe that the Good Samaritan went to hell?

What happened to the Good Samaritan?
Did the Good Samaritan go to hell? Image source: Pinterest

Some commentators of scripture take the Old Testament law literally. Theoretically speaking, the Good Samaritan would be condemned to hell because he was not a Jew. This was the Jewish law in the Old Testament. The Israelites were God’s chosen people, and the rest of the Gentiles were viewed as outcasts in the Kingdom of God. This is why some commentators propose that the Good Samaritan went to hell.

Do Christians believe that the Good Samaritan went to heaven or hell?

If the Good Samaritan were a real person, he would go to heaven based on Christianity. In the New Testament, Jesus teaches that how one treats others greatly matters. The Lord also brought the gift of grace, which exempts many human weaknesses as long a person’s heart is in the right place.

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