Inn of the Good Samaritan & Museum

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Inn of the Good Samaritan

 

Location

 

1. The Inn of the Good Samaritan is located about 8.5 miles (13.5 km.) east of Jerusalem on Hwy. 1, and about 6.5 (10.5 km.) west of Jericho.

 

2. The Inn is about halfway between Jerusalem and Jericho on an ancient road that linked traffic from the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem and the coastal towns of the Mediterranean Ocean. 

 

3. The famous story of the Good Samaritan took place on this road.

 

Historical Background

 

1. Interestingly, Jesus used real places and people in the story of the Good Samaritan, i.e., road, Jerusalem, Jericho, robbers, Samaritans, priests, Levites, and the Inn. Therefore, the possibility exists that the story was actually a real event that had happened.

 

2. The ancient road connecting the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem and beyond had an elevation difference of 3,400 ft. (1,036 m.). Jericho is at 800 ft. (244 m.) below sea level and Jerusalem is at 2,600 ft. (792 m.) above sea level.

 

3. It was a dangerous road that was desolate in places, steep, curvy, with crooks, crannies, and caves where bandits and robbers could hide out and get away easily in the desert. It also lacked police protection in many places. 

 

4. It was about 15 miles (24 km.) between Jerusalem and Jericho.

 

5. There were around 12,000 priests and Levites who lived in Jericho who used this road whenever they were summoned to serve in the temple in Jerusalem. 

 

6. The rocky desert terrain around the Inn of the Good Samaritan was notorious for robbers. The local name for the area is Ma‘ale Adummim, which means red rocks. It’s believed the name was derived from the limestone stained red by iron oxide, but it’s also believed its name is due to the amount of blood that was spilled here by bandits and robbers.

 

7. Jesus and His disciples would have used this road repeatedly as they traveled between Jerusalem and Jericho.

 

8. The Inn of the Good Samaritan

 

  • Although it’s not certain that the inn Jesus mentioned in the story of the Good Samaritan was a real place, a site was proposed in the early Christian centuries as a place to commemorate this event. Today, it’s called the Inn of the Good Samaritan.

 

  • The site was inhabited in the Hellenistic and Roman periods and remains from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD were discovered during the excavations of the Inn. 

 

  • In the 6th century, a Byzantine church and monastery with pilgrim accommodations were erected on the site of what was probably some sort of travelers’ hostel well before the time of Jesus. 

 

  • Later, the Crusaders built a fortress on a nearby hill to protect pilgrims against robbers.

 

  • The remains of the monastery later became an Ottoman Inn. 

 

  • In the 1800s, the Ottomans built a rectangular structure over the ruins of the southern wall of the Crusader Fortress. 

  • The current museum at this site was opened in 2009.

 

Places of Interest

 

1. Byzantine Church

 

2. Museum (has many mosaics and artifacts from around Israel)

 

3. Cave 1, 2

 

4. Crusader Fortress

5. Hwy. 1

 

6. Jericho

 

7. Jerusalem

 

8. Ancient Road from Jericho to Jerusalem

 

9. Wadi Qelt

 

The Story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible

 

1. A lawyer (student of Scripture) tested Jesus regarding what a person had to do to receive eternal life. 
Luke 10:25-28: And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind [Deut. 6:5]; and your neighbor as yourself [Lev. 19:18].”  

 

2. Attempting to justify himself, the lawyer asked a follow-up question about what the term “neighbor” meant.
Luke 10:29: And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

 

3. To illustrate who our neighbor is, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.

 

Luke 10:30-34: 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. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise, a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, 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. 

 

  • The priests were the spiritual leaders and oversaw the temple.

 

  • The Levites were servants in the temple.

 

  • Samaritans were unfaithful Jews who intermarried with foreign unbelievers and established their own religion. 

 

  • The Samaritans were despised and rejected by the Jews and considered unclean. 

 

  • The Samaritans, likewise, despised the Jews and had few dealings with them.

 

  • Any traveler from Samaria would have been regarded as an alien in Judea.

 

Luke 10:35-37: 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.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

 

  • A denarius was about a day’s wage. Today, it would be around $200 dollars for an average worker. The Samaritan gave the innkeeper two denarii for a total of $400 dollars.

 

  • The Good Samaritan was willing to spend even more money on the hurt man, meaning that what he had already given was just a start.

 

Faith Lesson from the Good Samaritan

 

1. Our neighbor is anyone with a genuine need whom we find in our path.

 

2. The wounded man the Samaritan helped was not a family member, a friend, or an acquaintance; he was a total stranger. 

 

3. The Samaritan spent a large sum of money to help heal the wounded man with no expectation or guarantee of being repaid.

 

4. It’s not what we see, but what we do that makes us a neighbor.

 

5. Jesus emphasized that it’s not just what we believe that matters, but what we do that shows we are truly saved.

 

6. While we should help the wounded with physical needs, we should also help the wounded with their spiritual needs as well. The greatest need everyone has is salvation. Do we share our faith and give the greatest gift possible to those in need spiritually?

 

7. We should keep in mind that not every want or need others might have is legitimate. 

 

8. God doesn’t want us to reward wrong motives and laziness.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-11: For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.

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