At one point on our trip we traveled to Mar Saba, an ancient Orthodox monastery built on the walls of the Kidron Valley that dates to the 5th century. Mar Saba is inland, near the Dead Sea, and as you travel you watch the land morph from green and lush to brown and dangerous.
We were taking in the view as our van rolled toward the monastery, and our guides pointed out a narrow, ancient road below us. They told us it was the kind of road that Jesus and His listeners would have had in mind when He told the story of a traveling man, robbed and beaten by bandits, ignored by religious leaders passing by, and rescued by a Samaritan. (Read the parable of the Good Samaritan here.)
We talked through the parable together and felt that it was terribly relevant to the things we were experiencing.