Of all the people who might stop to help the half-dead victim, the hated Samaritan was the most unlikely. Mixed race. A different class. Not one of us. Despised. Rejected.
Those, however, were the very reasons Jesus chose him to be the protagonist in His earthly story with a heavenly meaning. That Samaritan was fiction, but there was another good Samaritan who was real.
He was among a group of ten lepers who cried out for mercy to the healing rabbi. Jesus directed them to see the priests. As they were on their way, their skin disease disappeared. “Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:15-16 NASB).
Jesus asked, “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:18 NASB). This foreigner—a Samaritan—was good enough to be grateful and to say so.