Jesus and a person schooled in biblical law had an interesting conversation. It was in reference to the commandment that we should love our neighbors as we do ourselves. And then the Bible says this: "But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29). In other words, he asked Jesus to define who one's neighbor was, hoping Jesus would answer it in such a way that it justified the man's personal concept of a neighbor. You know this man was in for the disappointment of his life. Really, he should not have gone there but he did. Anyway, Jesus told a parable to answer the man's question. From the context of the parable, the man who had been left for dead on the side of the road was a Jew. Strangely enough, three people passed the man by. One was a priest, with his holy self. The other was a Levite, who lived off the tithe of people such as the man lying on the side of the road. And the other was a Samaritan who normally has no dealings with Jews. The priest and the Levite crossed on the other side of the road, I guess so they wouldn't become defiled, and passed the man by. It was the Samaritan who stopped and ministered to the man and took perfect care of him! So then Jesus turns to the man who had posed the question and asks him who was a neighbor to the wounded man. "And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise" (verse 37). Ouch! I can tell you that's not the answer the man was expecting. Instead of feeling justified, he left feeling convicted. You see, the word neighbor in the verse is from the word plesion (PLEE-zee-on), which denotes one who is nearby . But Jesus does not limit the meaning to the people living in our immediate vicinity as we normally think of our neighbors. Obeying this kingdom teaching can be a challenge for us at times. For instance, most of us have some preference for the type of neighborhood we want to live in. These preferences may be based on racial or educational parity, socioeconomics, etc. That's all well and good; this is America, and we have the right to live among the kinds of neighbors we want to. But here is the question. Are we at times like the man who came to Jesus trying to justify his narrow minded attitude? For instance, some people move in a certain neighborhood to get away from other segments of society, and they may feel justified in their condescending attitude toward those outside their social circle as long as they love those in their immediate vicinity and can say the love their neighbors. But what Jesus is saying is that when we come in contact with someone who is in need, whoever that person is and wherever the place may be, and we know what we would want someone to do for us if we were in that same state of need, and God has so positioned us to minister to that person accordingly, at that point in time, that person is our neighbor. And if we don't minister to the person in the same way as we would want someone to minister to us, then we don't love our neighbor as we do ourselves. God help us to obey this Great Commandment. Amen. Frank King
Thank you Brother Frank for sharing ALL of this Scripture section! He who shows mercy! I often see the mercy part lopped off! Amen to this message! Very encouraging! Hoping you are keeping warm! God Bless you always! Dave
as i'm trying to stay awake cause my patio windows and trim is still being installed, your perspective as you just shared, once again very encouraging as your blogs always are. thank you for always being "my neighbor " no matter how many states are between us. be blessed
Enjoyed Frank. The title reminded me of the veggietale show "Who is my neighbor" about that very scripture. Watched it with my son a lot when he was younger. In the show the samaritan character said "If I was bruised and battered, would I need help from him?". Great line.
Anyhow, great message, and blog. God Bless, Billy