A student of Judaic law,
On hearing of the Master,
Did seek to trip him in a quiz
And so bring on disaster.

So in the synagogue he stood
And asked, "What shall I do
To live forever, on and on?
Now, Master, what say you?"

And Jesus answered him and said,
"What's written in the law?
You've read it many times, I know.
Now tell me what you saw."

The lawyer said, "It says to love
The Lord your God above
With heart and soul and mind and strength;
Your neighbor also love."

And Jesus said, "You've answered well,
All these things you must do
To live."  But then the lawyer said,
"My neighbor, sir, is who?"

Then Jesus said, "A certain man
Set out for Jericho,
And thieves beset the man while he
Had still a ways to go.

"They stripped him of his clothes and goods;
They beat him 'til he bled;
And then they went off down the road,
And left him there, half dead.

"It happened that a priest came by
And sighed (a holy sigh),
Crossed over to the other side,
And passed the poor man by.

"And then a Levite happened on
The man the thieves had stripped.
He cast his eyes to heaven, and
Continued on his trip.

"But he who next passed by this man
Behaved not in their fashion.
Samaritan he was; he showed
The victim great compassion.

"He bound his wounds; he poured in oil;
He set him on his ass;
He brought him to a nearby inn,
A restless night to pass.

"And when the morning light had come
He called the landlord in
And said, 'Take care of this poor man
Until I come again.'

"Two pence he gave the landlord then
And said, 'Take this, I pray,
And I will pay what else it costs
When next I come this way.'

"Now tell me, sir," the Master asked,
Of those three who passed by,
Which one was neighbor to the man
Who by the road did lie?"

The lawyer said, "It must be he
Who broke tradition's ties
And showed him love."  Then Jesus said,
"Go thou and do likewise."

Beth Robinson
January 1985

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