The Innkeeper

April 20, 2022 –

Each time I pass by a homeless person, I am reminded of the story of the Good Samaritan recorded in Luke 10:25-37. The passage speaks of at least seven people. The traveler victim, the Good Samaritan, thieves, a Priest, a Levite, and the nameless innkeeper. It is the often-overlooked innkeeper that teaches us lessons we need to know.

I realize you are familiar with the story but have you identified yourself with one of the seven people mentioned in Jesus’ parable? If so, which one?

The Parable of the Good Samaritan tells the story of a Jewish man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, a winding 8-mile downhill road that was a favorite hideout of robbers and thieves. And while on the way, he is beaten by thieves and robbed of everything he had.

But a Samaritan on his journey came upon him. And when he saw the victim, he had compassion. He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then, he put the man on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him. When I return, I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra expenses you incur.”

Though the parable focuses on the Good Samaritan, the story includes the innkeeper and his trust that the Good Samaritan would return and pay for the extra expense. It is the often-overlooked innkeeper that teaches us a lesson about trust and hospitality. The innkeeper trusted the Good Samarian to pay the bills for the beaten and bleeding traveler left in his care. He also had to help minister to the traveler.

Jesus tells us to follow the Samaritan’s example to inherit eternal life. We are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” We need to show compassion and love for those we encounter in our everyday activities.

Every day, we pass by people who need our help, encouragement, foodstuff, and shelter. Do you identify as the traveler victim, the Good Samaritan, the thieves, the Priest, the Levite, or the nameless innkeeper?