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Classroom Activities for the Parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37
1. Simple exegesis
Exegesis is basically a way to understand biblical passage thoroughly. This could be done by examining the background, textual and contemporary meaning of the passage using guided questions from the 'Three Worlds of Text' method.
The 'Three Worlds of Text' comprise the world behind the text, the world within the text and the world in front of the text.
Simply respond to the questions below. Then, use the information you have gathered to write a short essay that presents a holistic picture of the story of the Good Samaritan.
Read the passage Luke 10:25-37 and respond to the following questions from the three categories.
The world behind the text - The background to the text
- Identify the author and the year written. (Clue: use introduction to Luke's gospel from your bible)
- Why was this passage written? (Clue: use introduction to Luke's gospel from your bible).
- Who wrote this passage When was it written? Which version of the bible did you use?
- What do we know about the life of the Samaritans and the Levites during the time of Jesus? Why were they engaged in travelling by foot with such distance?
- Research about the social, cultural and religious life of people in Palestine in the first century.
The world within the text - The text itself.
- List the characters and the setting of the story.
- Summarise the plot.
- Are there any textual features used: imagery, metaphor, simile, repetition, rule of three, symbol?
- Any memorable scene?
- Any keyword or interesting ideas needing further exploration?
- Whose point of view is privileged? Whose point of view is silenced?
- Comment on the structure. How does the structure contribute to the meaning of the story?
- Comment on the genre. Is the parable a good form to tell the message of this story? How?
- Could you think of any story from in the bible that you could closely relate to the Samaritan Story, in terms of theme?
The world in front of the text - The Interpretation of the text
- What is the meaning of the Parable of the Good Samaritan for people today?
- What specific teaching of the church today that is closely related to the Good Samaritan Story?
- His can this story be applied to: prayers, liturgy and RE lessons?
2. Role play a modern context
Role play allows for closer engagement with the story. The best way to do it is to transpose the text into a contemporary situation.
After reading the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), think of a modern situation that best resembles the plot.
In a group of 4, write a script and present your drama, using costume and background music.
3. Visual Study of the Passage
Examine the following paintings, art work, digital photography and advertisements that explored the narrative of the Good Samaritan.
Evaluate each visual through the following:
- Dedication to the original text. How much of the work is taken or deviated from the original passage?
- Aesthetics. Is it effective as a work of art?
- Purpose. With a little research of its background, why did the art work produced? Did it serve its purpose?
- Meaning. With due consideration to its visual elements (subjects, gaze, color, contrast, vectors, perspective, frame, omissions, inclusions), how might the image be understood or appreciated by the audience today?
4. Lectio Divina using Parable of the Good Samaritan
Lectio Divina is a form of slow and meditative prayer.
- The class finds a quiet and comfortable space where students and teacher relax and center on prayer - a perfect chance to spend time in the school chapel or church. Symbols may be used, eg a lit candle, pebbles and rocks, a statue, a flower. Breathing and relaxation is a good way to start. This time to enjoy this moment of silence and serenity, away from the stress of work and study.
- God speaks to us in the silence. He invites us to listen, to engage more deeply into the spiritual presence. Read the Parable of the Good Samaritan gently, savoring each sentence and allowing the story to fill each mind and heart.
- Allow time for personal reflection and meditation. Think about the meaning of the text or the story in our life. How are we being invited by the spirit to engage with this story? What aspect of our life might this story have special meaning? What actions have we done in the last few days that could be reviewed in relation to the meaning of the Good Samaritan? Have we been relating effectively with our needy neighbors and friends? How do we respond to those who will appreciate our support?
- Speak to God. Allow the spirit to personally communicate with you as you voice out to God your concerns. Tell the Spirit the ways that might have prevented you to share your time with those who need your attention. Tell the spirit about how you deeply long to reach out to those in need. Let God know those that hinder us to relate well to others and how we suffer sometimes from others who do no relate well to us. Speak to God of ways to better our relationship with others, in terms of sharing our time, resources, attention and patience. Tell God of the opportunity to recognize and appreciate the gift of family, friends and other people in our lives. Thank God for the immense joy and happiness that friends and family bring to us everyday. Pray to God for those who have hurt you and have been selfish towards you. Pray for those who you haven't reached out particularly well and those who have yet to receive your kindness and experience your inner beauty.
- Return to being silent and feel the inner joy of being in the presence of the Spirit, of God. Listen to your breathing again and rest in His peace and blissfulness. Rest. Be content that God sends His blessing upon you and recognizes your strengths and abilities. Breathe in the peace of God who accepts and loves you. Breathe in his peace. Breathe out the worries and anxieties for the days. Breathe out the sufferings along the way. Breathe in the joy. Embrace His presence in our journey of life.
- Live in His word and in his presence.
5. Research an organisation
The Parable of a Good Samaritan can serve as the underpinning story for a particular organization whose work and mission align with the message of the story.
Conduct a specific organization whose goal shows the living out of the message of mercy, charity, compassion and hope for those in need.
Create a 3-minute video that summaries their profile as an organization, work and mission, justifying your choice that this group acts out the message of the Good Samaritan.
Here is a list of such organizations:
- St Vincent de Paul Society
- Christian Children's Fund
- Mercy Ships
- Operation Smile
- World Vision
- Your Grandmother's Cupboard