Sometimes I wonder why Jesus left out certain things. Are there any stories where Jesus did not heal or help someone? Surely there must have been some left untouched? If we heard those stories it would help us understand those who are not healed today. Or can we learn something just from the fact that we are not told?
And what about the story of the Good Samaritan? We have the heroes and antiheroes of the drama arriving on the scene after the terrible deed was done. And so we know that we should be compassionate and care for those who have suffered.
But what if the Samaritan and co had come upon the assault while it was taking place? What then would Jesus have expected?
Because then we would have a word on the Syrian situation, which we all know is not cut and dried. Is the Christian response to intervene and (hopefully) limit future suffering? Or is the Christian response to act peacefully, ourselves, at all costs.
Actually, I don't think that the parable of the Good Samaritan is about showing compassion and it is probably a statement about our society that we think it is. Compassion would have been expected even without Jesus saying so. The point is that the display of compassion (or non-display) turned around the perceived status of those involved. And so those who were honoured for their position in society were not honoured in this context and similarly the reverse.