The Samaritans and Jesus’ Racism


Jesus: And he walked by on the other side leaving the man helpless, but then who should wander by, but a Samaritan, of all people, and he actually helped the man.

Disciple: Hang on, master.

Jesus: – No, he did, he went over and actually…

Disciple: – No, sorry…

Jesus: – No, no. I mean, this is what I’m saying. That a Samaritan, all right – so, have a good think about your attitudes – went and helped…

Disciple: – Yeah, no, I see.

Jesus: – No, no, stick with it. Because what I’m saying is that he was a “Good” Samaritan. That’s “Good Samaritan”, if you could imagine such a thing.

Disciple: Yes, yes, I can. I think we all can. I know there’s a lot of prejudice against Samaritans, which is terrible, but I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that there are loads of really nice Samaritans!

Member of the public #1: Yeah, some of my best friends are Samaritans.

Member of the public #2: Me and the wife went on holiday to Samaria last year, and they were lovely people.

Member of the public #3: – Couldn’t do enough for you.

Disciple: – Yes, so. What I’m finding offensive – and I’m sure I’m not the only one – is your unreflecting acceptance of this cliché that all Samaritans are wankers.

Jesus: No, I’m saying he was good!

Disciple: But you’re implying that “the fact that he was good” is worth a story in itself. It’s some kind of weird curiosity, like an albino Nubian.

Jesus: No, I’m saying that goodness comes in unexpected places.

Disciple: And I’m saying that the fact that you wouldn’t expect goodness from a Samaritan betrays your inherent racism!

Jesus: OK, OK. Alright, that’s a big word. Let’s just take a deep breath here. I didn’t mean to offend. That’s the last thing I intended. I didn’t realise there were any Samaritans in the room.

Disciple: – That’s not the point!

Jesus: Or Samaritan sympathisers. You know, Sammy lovers.

Disciple: – I can’t believe I’m hearing this.

Jesus: No, no, no, no. I didn’t realise it was such a PC environment here and I suppose I thought that having what was only intended as a fond pop at our Samaritan neighbours, friends even, if you like, would not be inappropriate in the context of a story which is after all about goodness, and at the end of the day, it is only a parable.

Disciple: – What? It didn’t really happen?

Jesus: – Of course not. A Samaritan tosser wouldn’t do that for his own grandmother!

That Mitchell and Webb Look (2006) Season 1, Episode 4. [No. 4]

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