Who is my Neighbor?

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

We usually think of the person living next door to us, or even the person living down the street, as our neighbor. They may be, but not necessarily according to Jesus. In Luke 10, Jesus is confronted by a skilled lawyer who in seeking his own self-justification. He asks Jesus to answer the question: ‘Who is my Neighbor?’. Jesus answers him by telling him a parable:

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?

Because of the actions of both the priest and the Levite, Jesus makes it pretty clear that neither were a neighbor to this ‘certain man’ who fell upon hard times. The priest upon seeing the beaten man, crossed over to the other side of the street. This is sort of the way a child plays peek-a-boo by covering his eyes while thinking: ‘If I can’t see you, you don’t exist’. The Levite ‘came and looked’ at the beaten man, yet he also moved to the other side of the street. Though they were among the religious leaders of the day, their behaviour ruled them out as being ‘neighbors’. Instead, He makes it clear that a mere Samaritan who was considered to be of ‘lower-class’ in the day was the true neighbor. Again, he derives this conclusion based upon the man’s behaviour. Jesus taught that we are to ‘judge a tree by its fruit’. I will take the liberty here to say that: ‘actions speak louder than words’.

So what was it that differentiated the Samaritan from the priest and Levite?

Well, there were a few things that we read about in the passage above:

1- The Samaritan had compassion.

2- He went out of his way to bandage the man’s wounds, and used his own supply of wine and oil to cleanse them.

3- He set him upon his own animal instead of riding it himself, and walked him to a place of shelter.

4- He personally took care of him throughout the night.

5- The next day, he paid the innkeeper money to further care for the injured and beaten stranger.

6- He then promised to return (follow-up) and pay him more if necessary to cover all the costs of the innkeeper.

So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?

Image result for kindness photo

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

 

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