Taking one stanza from Hank Williams, Sr.’s From Jerusalem to Jericho,
“Then who (then who), tell me who (tell me who)
Tell me who was this neighbor kind and true?
From Jerusalem to Jericho we’re traveling every day
And many are the fallen ones that lie along the way.”
Does a familiar Bible passage come to mind? Exactly. Who would forget the Parable of the Good Samaritan? It is undoubtedly the most powerful, personal, pastoral, and practical parable that Jesus taught. A parable of many things, they say. It speaks of the power of love that surpasses all beliefs and cultures, creating a neighbor out of a complete stranger.
So, when Hank created “From Jerusalem to Jericho,” he obviously wants to pose a challenge urging us to cross all walls of culture and community; to go and do likewise. He patterned the lyrics similarly to the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In the Bible the question, “And who is my neighbor?”, and of Hank’s song, “Tell me who was this neighbor kind and true?”
God’s Message as Reflected in The Song
When we think of this parable, we then think of Mr. Hank Williams’ “From Jerusalem to Jericho” song. Moreover, just like many of his gospel songs, there always lies a special message and reflection. We are up to this call for compassion, challenging us to commit, and ending with the joy of communion.
Call to Compassion. Helping other people is not just the mere call to compassion. Showing compassion is sharing with the agony and pain of the wounded and suffering. This is how Jesus and the good Samaritan balance excellence and compassion. He grieved and suffered with the persons to whom he tended. He felt their hunger, recognized their sorrow, understood their pain, felt sorry for with, and touched the dislike. Most of all, he helped the sinners.
A challenge to Commitment. In the early times, there was no relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans. That was the reason why the reaching of the Good Samaritan became even more touching. However, it is from this example that two separate persons now begin to relate in love and being a neighbor is born. Is it not love that pleads the neighbor into a blessed way of life?
The joy of Communion. It may sound strange but most of the time, suffering unites people. It brings us closer to those who suffer and perhaps even closer to ourselves. For when we are down, weak and helpless, we sense more harmony with the rest of humanity. We may forget those with whom we have laughed, but never those with whom we have cried. These kinds of bonds lead to communion.
These 3 Cs: Compassion, Commitment, and Communion summarize the message of the song.
May we all have these values as we walk from our small “Jerusalem to Jericho” journeys.
If you want to recall the Parable of the Good Samaritan, listen to this song sung beautifully by Hank Williams, Sr.