Friday, August 04, 2006

Who is your Neighbor?

Who is your Neighbor?

Luke 10: 25.  On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26.  "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27.  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.' "
28.  "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." 29.  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30.  In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
31.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.  34.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.
35.  The next day he took out two silver coins 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.'
36.  "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" 37.  The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."   Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." (NIV)

As you read this story I hope one thing stood out…

How we treat people, matters.

Jesus was not just saying a nice story here, but that we should listen, take to heart, then go and do likewise.

Have you ever wondered who your neighbor is? I know… not that ugly one next door… or the one with too many kids that run wild… or that strange old man/woman who sits outside everyday watching the world pass… no… it must be that nice looking couple, you know clean cut, and votes republican… the one you hear listening to Rush Limpaw.
Yep, if I was to choose a neighbor … that would be the one.

I hope you get my point out of my sarcasm… that we are not to choose our neighbor but realize, just as Good Sam in the story did, that often our neighbors choose us… and we must be available to love them and serve them… even at our own expense.

I hope you consider this…”let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Galatians 6:9-10

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