Who Is Our Neighbor?
The command from Jesus is to love our neighbor. Face it, some people are just unlovable. Like all of us sometimes. It is important to note that we all need to be loved, even when we don’t deserve it. We know God loves us unconditionally. He is there for us. So, we should be there for our neighbor. We need to better understand our neighbor and what our responsibility looks like. Recently, we completed a Bible Study, Gospel in Life, from Tim Keller. In an excerpt from this study, Dr. Keller shares a powerful truth from scripture, and fully describes our neighbor.
In effect, the law expert was saying to Jesus, “Come on, now. Be reasonable! You don’t mean we have to love everyone like this, do you? Who is my neighbor?
Jesus responded by making a Samaritan and a Jew the two main characters in his parable. They were extreme enemies, yet the Samaritan gave aid in spite of the following facts:
It was extremely dangerous for the Samaritan to stop on a desolate road infested with robbers.
It was very expensive for the Samaritan to give the innkeeper a promise to pay whatever it might cost to care for the man until he recovered.
Jesus’ answer is clear and devastating; it demolishes any limitations put on our mercy. We are to help people of other races and religions, even from groups we have a reason to distrust. We are to help, even when it is risky and costly to us.
In summary, we are to love in word and deed anyone we find in need, any one we find on the road. They are our neighbors.
Father help us to love our neighbor as you love us. Guide us to better serve you, our community and beyond.
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