Be a Neighbor!
Scripture reading for April 3rd: Luke 10:13-37
Jesus was tested by a teacher of the Law with a question. “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 you strength and with all your mind’, and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Luke 10:25-27) This teacher had done a good job of distilling the Law of God into a concise statement of love and relationship. However, he had one more question for Jesus: Who was his neighbor?
Have you ever thought about that question? Is our neighbor simply the man or woman next door? Could my neighbor be someone I may not even know or like? It is one thing to know the command to love our neighbor but quite another to put it into practice consistently.
Because of sin we are centered on ourselves. We love ourselves pretty consistently by giving ‘self’ what it wants or feels it needs. God used the statement ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ because everyone would understand the love of self. Now to define a neighbor, Jesus told a story of a man who was robbed and beaten, laying beside the road naked and half-dead. Passing him by was a priest and Levite. A Samaritan happened by and took time to bind up his wounds and care for the man. Jesus asked the teacher of the Law which one of the three proved to be a neighbor to the wounded man. He responded with the obvious answer. (Luke 10:30-37) Jesus told the law expert to go and do likewise.
Being a neighbor where ever you are to those around you is what Jesus taught. The law of loving your neighbor involves doing to others what you would like them to do to you if you were in need. It shows no respect for persons and is not prejudiced. This love seeks to do what is best for the person in need near us. It comes from the heart of God and fulfills these great commandments of Scripture: “Love God and love your neighbor!” Be careful to be a good neighbor today!