The Helpers’ Motivation

  • 1st Picture for document

Helpers had differing motives. This becomes particularly palpable in the passage in Krakauer’s little book in which, with a supporter who had left the church in mind, he briefly recorded:

They [people without church ties] did not help us because the commandment of the Old and the New Testament obligated them to, out of deliberate Christian charity or in order to emulate the Savior and the Good Samaritan. Rather, their taking responsibility for us was a purely psychological, defensive reaction against the egregious terror, under which the entire nation suffered (Krakauer, Lichter, 140).

Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25–37 played a special role for helpers with a Christian background:

(25) And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (26) He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?” (27) And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your sould, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (28) And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”

(29) But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (30) Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. (31) Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. (32) So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

(33) But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, (34) and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (35) And on the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying ‘take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back. (36) Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” (37) He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise!”

Source / title

  • Die Heilige Schrift mit Bildern nach Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Stuttgart 1912, Tafel 157

Related topics