Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33 But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,
34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
35 On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’
36 Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”
37 And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
Jesus used earthly stories to illustrate spiritual truth. In this case He spelled out personal responsibility among people and showed how it looks on a public road. A man on a fifteen mile journey on a desolate route beset with robbers who beat and robbed him, leaving him half dead. A priest came along, saw the victim and crossed the road to avoid him. A Levite responding in the same way, did nothing to help. But a Samaritan (who had issues with the Jewish religionists) who was on a journey with an itinerary and people waiting for him, stopped, overcome with compassion, administered first aid, treating him with oil and wine. Then he put him on his beast, carried him to an inn where he gave two days’ wages to the innkeeper to care for him. He promised to reimburse any additional expenses on his return trip. Jesus asked who the neighbor was and the people said it was the man who did something.
What distinguished the Samaritan from the others? Compassion. This man had love for the broken man and took responsibility for him. It's the compassion that allowed for interruption even if it meant being late.