A Lesson on ‘Who Is My Neighbor?’

A neighbor sees a need and tries his best to extend help.

A neighbor sees a need and extends his help.

 

1John 3:17 states,

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”

 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great command-ment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Mt22:37-39) 

 Jesus was asked “And who is my neighbour?”  (Lk10:29) In answering the question Jesus told  the story of the Good Samaritan who came to aid of a traveler who was robbed, stripped of his clothing, wounded and left half dead.

Sadly, it seems that many who say they “love God and go to church“,  don’t know who their neighbor is.  Here is a recent incident that my husband, Drgold experienced that illustrates this truth. 

We live in a high-rise condo where off-street parking is very limited.  In preparation for repaving our parking lot and driveway, our condo association needed to find a lot not used much doing the weekdays.  We need temporary parking only for a few days for about 25 cars.  Any place that could accommodate any number of cars in different lots would be okay, too.  

As it so happens, there are 3 churches within our block where we live.  The first church he inquired right around the corner from us told him “No”, even though their lot was not being used during the week.  He thought they were sort of like passing the buck’ by suggesting that my husband check with another nearby church.  Here we are their neighbors and had a pressing need for only 4 days,  but that church did not see it that way.  

 Jesus said if you love God,  you must also love your neighbors as yourself. This is a lesson for all of  us to examine ourselves– who are our neighbors and does the love of God really dwell our hearts toward those who are in need or are less fortunate. 
 
This is the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:30-37: 

“Who Is My Neighbor?”

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, 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 on him, 

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Do you really love God?  Do you know who your neighbor is?  Are you a good Samaritan or like the priest and Levite in the Luke 10 account?   Are you a believer or make-believer?

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About Shofar/Liz

I have a Christian blogsite-'God's Enduring Love' at https://heulu.wordpress.com with 'Words of Encouragement from the Bible and Liz's Journal'. Also, an art blogsite-'Art with Aloha' at http://artwithaloha.wordpress.com 'A Journal About Art and Life. I use acrylic and oil paints, graphite pencils and pen and ink.

Posted on July 30, 2013, in About Me And My Family, Hearing From God And His Word and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. We welcome you as our newest friend to our blog! 😀 God bless you!! 😀

  2. Well said. Lord bless you.

  3. Liz;

    The whole law is summed up: love God and love man. Trouble is, nobody can do it, that is entirely, and hence do not see themselves as lawbreakers.

    The young lawyer was parading his ‘goodness’ to the Lord saying ‘all these (laws) have I kept from my youth up…’ Really, are you going with that??? Apparently this young buck never had his eyes opened to his own deceitful heart. A man who steals penny candy is no different than a corporate embezzler, both thieves.

    ‘I HAVE loved my neighbor with ALL my heart, soul, mind, and strength???’ Uh. no, I have not, nor has this lawyer, nor you, nor anybody else; honesty denies this.

    Thank God for grace. But we can see what pleases God, and in spite of our shortcomings, his love does not diminish. Is it any wonder we can sing ‘halleluia, what a saviour.’

    • Hi Naked Truth

      Your comments are well taken, but the Lord still expects us to love one another as He loved us! This is the Naked Truth!

      Jesus gave us a new commandment which is not under the Mosaic Law: ‘This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you’ Jn15:12.

      2Ti1:7 states God has given us the ‘Spirit of power, & of love, & of a sound mind’.

      ~Drgold http://drgoldsite.wordpress.com

      • -dr gold

        Yes, just drawing a distinction that people cannot receive life from ‘keeping the law,’ and the idea of ‘love thy neighbor’ is proof that men are lawbreakers.

        The ideal?? ‘love thy neighbor’ of course, to they who have life, but to the un-redeemed, the word is not ‘love thy neighbor,’ but ‘repent and believe…’

        However, a very good sermon is in view, with the same word spoken to different hearts-

  4. Thanks for your comments, John! The parallel account in Luke 10:25-37 has Jesus saying at the end regarding the neighbor as “He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

    It is about everyday choices and decisions we have to make, challenging though they may sometimes be. Yet there are opportunities that present themselves where we can put our faith into action as the apostle James taught, being doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving our own selves (James 1:22, 27; 2:20); and as Jesus said how the sheep and the goats would be separated in Mt 25:31-46, summarized with how we treat others is an action directed to Him personally.

    We have to try to do our best with the right motivations and make a difference as disciples of Christ and stay clear from the world view of ‘going with the flow’. Many ‘Christians’ are non-committed, lukewarm, hypocritical, and compromising, and ‘worldly’ today. Let us not be counted among them, but “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord…” (Hebrews 12:14) God bless you!

  5. We do need to know who our neighbor is since we would not be able to take a walk to the grocery store. We would be helping every person along the way. I have driven past a homeless person, made a U turn to meet a need but this is an occasional meeting and not a regular activity. We should not have this neighbor thing become a rule to follow but one that is prompted by the Spirit.

    • Thank you for your comment, Donald! Indeed, we should be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit also helps us to know/discern about individuals and situations when we may risk our personal safety and therefore should steer clear of.

      However, there are Christians with anxieties and fears/excuses who will not give a hand to anyone whether they have the Holy Spirit or not. The crux of the matter is to know the prompting of the Holy Spirit and to be obedient.

  6. Liz this is lovely and such a good reminder of lending a hand or trunk! Precious!

    • YES, AMEN! There are so many wonderful lessons we can learn from the animal world! Many animals instinctively do those caring acts that some humans lack common sense and compassion to do for themselves and others. I saw a video of a guide dog for a blind dog, imagine that!

      • OMG I know I saw that one. I cried. He is here in Oklahoma! Amazing. Have you seen the one with the dog and the Down syndrome child? Animals have such a wonderful being that God gave the uniquely. Amazing

  7. Thanks for leading me to this one too. It does scare me sometimes that selfishness can run so deep in me that I can push people in need away, without even realizing I’m doing it! Good to keep being reminded!

  8. Amen.. Love thy Neighbor as You Love Yourself!! 🙂

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