As Jesus is sent on mission, he teaches us how to love your neighbor.
Four lessons from the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
- Loving our neighbor reveals our love for God, and our love for God is revealed in our love of neighbor.
- Loving our neighbor actively demonstrates compassion to anyone in need.
- Loving our neighbor eliminates boundaries and prejudices.
- Loving our neighbor is demonstrated by one’s actions, it is something you become, never something you define!
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He 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.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii 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.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Live it Out
- Who needs your mercy this week, even if you have to slow down from your hurry to show it?
- Who do you need to recognize as your neighbor whom you may have been ignoring or even despising?
- What need might you have to allow someone else to minister to you, even if that person is a stranger?
- What identity do you work from?