When Jesus asks the question, “which of the three had mercy on the man?” we logically assume He is referring to the Priest, Levite, or Samaritan. But there is one other character often overlooked in this story – the innkeeper, a Jewish businessman running a hotel on the Jericho Road.
It’s easy to miss that the innkeeper made a decision to care for the injured man and engage with the Samaritan in a way that clearly was not good business. Jews hated Samaritans. They considered them “half breeds.” If people learned of what the innkeeper did, he’d develop a reputation that he and his inn welcomed “those hated people.” Certainly, his business would have gone down the drain.
And yet something motivated him to use his business as a platform for mercy and justice. There was no indication that he resisted; rather, he welcomed them. This time we see an innkeeper had room in his inn!
How can you use your work as a platform for justice?
My quick take: This is so true. I had never thought of the Innkeeper being part of this story. The Good Samaritan was so kind but so was the Innkeeper. He could have easily said, “There is NO ROOM” or “This isn’t a hospital”.
As a business owner or worker, we have plenty of opportunities to live out our faith; to be generous and compassionate while maintaining our focus. We aren’t a charity but that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t be charitable as the Spirit leads and makes available.