This story and the following one together give a complete picture of Christian discipleship in terms of love of neighbor (active service) and love of Jesus (prayer). They combine to illustrate the way to everlasting life given in the lawyer’s answer (v. 27). When he responds with the statement about love of god and love of neighbor, the lawyer is quoting from the ancient Hebrew prayer, the Shema (Deut. 6:4-5). This combination was evidently original with Jesus (Mark 12:29-31) and known to the lawyer, who used it when Jesus turned the question back to him. To “justify himself” (because Jesus has made the lawyer’s question seem easy), he raises the disputed question about the identity of the neighbor. In the Leviticus text, the neighbor is one’s fellow Israelite. As a parable, the story of the Good Samaritan is intended to challenge a wrong but accepted pattern of thought so that values of the kingdom can break into a sealed system. This it does by showing a Samaritan, a member of the people despised and ridiculed by Jews, performing a loving service avoided by Jewish religious leaders.