Sunday, August 23, 2009

And Who Is My Neighbor?

How many are familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan? In the passage, An expert of the Jewish law (lawyer) asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded by asking the lawyer what the law says, and the lawyer responded with "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, Love you neighbor as yourself". Jesus agreed. Then the lawyer tried to justify himself by asking "And who is my neighbor?", to which Jesus gave the story of the Good Samaritan.

Why did the lawyer try to justify himself? Did he try to qualify who his neighbor was? I was convicted by this because I would call those people that are easy to be around as my neighbors. But then would I would NOT call neighbors as those that require alot of my effort, or money, or time, or energy. I would justify myself by saying "That person lives too far away", " That person has nothing in common with me", "That person might sue me or hurt me", or "That person gives nothing back in this relationship".

Jesus gives an example of how to be neighbor by telling the story of the Good Samaritan (the Jewish people hated the Samaritans and had nothing to do with them). The Samaritan risked his life, used his hard earned money (two denarii = two days wages), and gave a whole day to serve the victim. Jesus showed this example of being a neighbor by showing that no matter what the cost and no matter who the other person is, we a called to be a neighbor.

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