We forget how distasteful and abhorrent that story would have been to those listening. The Jewish culture of that time did not think highly of Samaritans; and the deeply religious would have seen them as deceivers and immoral heretics. Samaritans were despised by the dominate religious culture.
In today's world, how would we need to change the labels to grasp the offensiveness of this story? Whom do many of our religious groups despise most? In our case, we would probably need to substitute Samaritan with homosexual. Would Jesus' words be welcomed in our churches if he told a story of how the mega-ministry leader passed by the beaten man, but it was the homosexual who tended to his wounds?
Ultimately, I believe Jesus would have framed the story differently depending on his audience . It is likely that a Jew would have been the protagonist had Jesus told the story in Samaria.
Whoever troubles us most, whomever we despise, the people that cause us the most consternation... that is who would probably be the hero of Jesus' story. The parable puts a spotlight on our darkest corners... but only if we frame it in a context that makes us stumble.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) 25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27He answered: " '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, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."