This racially mixed group with Jewish and pagan ancestry lived in one region of Israel. There was hatred between them and the ‘pure’ Jews, with Jewish travelers not even setting foot in Samaritan territory, choosing instead the longer by-pass route. The Jews had no dealings with them (Jn 4:9). Jesus did not ‘buy-in’ to this antagonism. Instead He ministered to them, and brushed off their disdain when He travelled through Samaria (Lk 9:51-56). His dealings with the woman at the well resulted in many changed lives (Jn 4:4-26,39-42). The story of the Good Samaritan illustrated how love and concern should override any wrong attitudes we have towards others and the barriers that prevent us from acting as Christ would (Lk 10:25-37).

See also: Good Samaritan, good will, race/racism, Samaria.