The fall of humanity is projected in racial differences and languages. All were one in Adam. The first incident of deterioration is recorded from the point when Cain saw a different individual in Abel. This was an illusion, as Cain and Abel were two personalities projected in one man, Adam.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12) (ESV).
The story of Cain and Abel projects Cain, doing the opposite of what is intended in Law and the Prophets—according to the above Scripture. The behaviour of Cain continues in our time.
It is as if doing unto others as one likes others do unto one, is impossible. The term ‘different,’ applies to humanity, as understood in language. In God all are one. This was clarified by Jesus—when conversing with a Jewish lawyer:
“…….Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him ‘what is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ 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, and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly, do this and you will live.’ But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’”
In answer to the later question, Jesus gives a popularly regarded parable—in Christian circles—the Good Samaritan. Humanly speaking, no Samaritan could be considered as brother to any Jew of that time. There had been historical division between the Jews and the Samaritans. Nevertheless, the two groups were distant cousins.
The Jews are also Israelites—whose term qualifies them entirely—having collectively been the children of Israel (Jacob). But, the descendants of Jude are the only ones qualified to be called Jews.
The Jews had all along regarded the other ten tribes as having invited God’s wrath on the entire Israelite nation. Those other tribes had violated God’s Laws, after Jeroboam had led a rebellion that broke the relationship between the two groups.
After the death of Solomon, Rehoboam inherited the Kingdom, left by Solomon, his father. But Rehoboam’s folly had invited a rebellion that ripped the nation into two groups—being hostile to each other. Details of the cause of this division are recorded in 1 Kings 12.
Through the prophet Shemaiah, God thwarted what could have been a brutal civil war. The newly crowned King, had assembled an army—to initiate a gruelling fight against the rebelling ten tribes.
Only the small tribe of Benjamin teamed up with the tribe of Jude, to support the new King, Rehoboam. The Levites could not have left Jerusalem—due to their bestowed ministerial commitments in the Temple. Among all Israelites, no other tribe had been allotted with priesthood responsibilities.
Of the twelve sons of Israel, the tribe of Joseph is divided into two—Ephraim and Manasseh. Careful analysis of the Israelites’ story reveals that the entire tribes of Israel had, therefore, become thirteen, instead of twelve.
Having rebelled, the ten tribes anointed Jeroboam, an Ephraimite, who had previously attempted to initiate a rebellion against King Solomon. Jeroboam had become a fugitive in Egypt, before Solomon’s death (1 Kings 11:24-40). He returned to lead a rebellion, after King Solomon’s death.
Without access to Jerusalem, for purposes of religious rites—Jeroboam’s Kingdom, had to establish a different religion. Unfortunately, the new religion could not be sustained on precepts of God’s Laws—requiring Levitical priesthood.
This facilitated the deterioration of Israel—as a God’s chosen nation—towards demise. That division established a condition of enmity—as existing between the Jews and the Samaritans, at Jesus’ time. The hatred had been on public display.
This is, as also currently recognized, even in our African cultures. Families get ripped apart due to suspicions that some forefather of the other group would have invited some negative spell to the entire clan.
Newly born children on either sides, are influenced to avoid relating to those from either the offending, or defending groups—due to such historical hostilities. Under those circumstances, foreigners would rather be treated more kindly—than those considered to have caused the misfortunes of the entire clan.
Aware of that inherited divisive culture—Jesus brings up a parable that would effectively answer the Jewish lawyer. In His parable Jesus could have used a foreigner in place of a Samaritan. But that could not have had the impact. For an injured Jew to receive assistance from a Samaritan had been viewed as whimsical.
The truth that ought to be appreciated is that any human being should be regarded as a brother—being loved as oneself. Jesus addresses a reality that ought to have been—before Adam’s transgression. This is why, even in marriage the two become one (Genesis 2:24).
There is no doubt in that most Christian church denominations find the story of the Good Samaritan, not only entertaining, but also educational. Yet the same Christians are unable to address the cause of division in Christianity—if this parable is taken seriously? See [There is no denomination that represents truth].
At the end of the parable, Jesus then asked; “’Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbour to the man who fell among the robbers?” The lawyer said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go and do likewise’” (Luke 10:25-37) (ESV).
The lawyer had been well-educated on Jewish Law, as summarized in “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength and with all your soul, and with all your mind and your neighbour as yourself” (verse 27).
And Jesus commended the lawyer, as far as his knowledge of the Law was concerned: “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live” (verse 28). However, the knowledge of the law, and application of the Law, can be ascribed as two different matters.
Jesus could have ended the discourse after stating: “You have answered correctly.” It is the phrase, “Do this, and you will live,” that prompted the lawyer to then raise the next question, “And who is my neighbour?” This is what led to the parable of the Good Samaritan:
This last phrase is the one that—though clearly stated, it is foreign—even to the majority of our Christian brothers across the world. A pollster could reveal that all Christians give what they consider to be genuine reasons for not applying the principle: “doing this in order to live.”
It would always be the other party, found with the fault—not the one offended—or vice versa. Christians find it so relieving, when faults are with the other party—instead of themselves. Yet it is the faults of others that makes the one considered as without fault to bear more responsibility (Matthew 7:1-4).
Interestingly, others prefer remaining in the cover of not breaking away from the offending group—though being in total disagreement with them. This serves, just to keep such Christians in the comfort of doing what is required.
Unfortunately, such people may be living within the cocoon of hypocrisy. In God there is no grey area. It is, simply, either something is acceptable or unacceptable. It is either those considered different are loved as self, or they are simply not loved as self.