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One day Jesus was talking to a crowd of people. A teacher of the law in the crowd asked Him a question. “What do I have to do to live forever?”

“What does it say in the law?” Jesus asked kindly.

“The law says to love the Lord with all your heart,” the teacher answered, “and love your neighbor as you love yourself. But who is my neighbor?”

Then Jesus told this story.

“A man was traveling from Jerusalem to the city of Jericho. You all know that dangerous road. Robbers like to hide there.” The people nodded. They all knew which road Jesus was talking about.

“Well,” Jesus said, “a group of robbers attacked the traveler. They tore off his clothes. They beat him. They stole his money. Then they left him lying there, almost dead.

“Along came a priest” Jesus said. “He saw the poor man, beaten and bleeding. But he turned his head and walked by on the other side of the road.

“A little later a Levite came by. He may have heard the poor traveler moaning in pain. The man was so dirty and bloody! The priest wrinkled up his nose and hurried away.

“Not long after that, a Samaritan man riding a donkey came down the road. The Samaritan rushed over to see if he could help.

“The Samaritan knelt down beside the wounded man. He carefully washed his cuts and put bandages on them. Then he helped the poor traveler up onto his own donkey and slowly led the donkey to town.

“The Samaritan took the injured man to an inn. ‘Please take care of this man,’ he said to the innkeeper. ‘Here is some money. If you spend more, I will give you more when I come back.’ ”

Then Jesus looked at the teacher. “Which of those three men was a neighbor to the traveler?” He asked.

The man knew the answer. “The one who took care of him,” he answered.

“That’s exactly right!” Jesus said with a big smile. “Go, and do the same thing.”

It doesn’t matter what people look like or talk like or smell like. Jesus asks us to help our neighbor—anyone who needs help. Let’s be like the good Samaritan.