"But he, desiring to JUSTIFY himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead....Which of these three, do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among robbers? He said, Th one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise." Luke 10: 29-30, 36-37
Jesus gives the parable of the Good Samaritan. From our thoughts yesterday, a lawyer comes to Jesus and asks: "What do I have to do to inherit eternal life? Jesus tells him what the Law says: "To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Then love your neighbor as yourself."
Now the lawyer comes back to Jesus and asks: "Who is my neighbor?" He was trying to justify himself, make excuses of who he has to love. Instead of asking; "Who is my neighbor?" We really should be asking the question: "Am I being a good neighbor." How many remember Mr. Rogers and that was one of his themes. "Who is my neighbor?" Are we a good neighbor to the people that live around us?
Jesus explains what he means in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus talks about the Priest, the Levite and the Samaritan in this Parable.
THE PRIEST - a religious person comes upon this man that was mugged, beat up, robbed and left for dead, and the priest walked by on the other side of the road. He did not even stop to pray for the man, see if there was anything that He could do, but walked on by this man. How many Christians are like the priest, and we walk by lost and dying people every day, and just walk by and do nothing to help people that need Jesus?
THE LEVITE - another religious person, and he sees the man that was left to die. He walks by on the other side as well. How many people come to church, and do their religious worship, service and they walk by on the other side and do nothing to help lost people come to Christ.
THE SAMARITAN - not a religious person, not a part of the people of God. But he has more of the heart of Jesus because he stops, he gets involved, he sacrifices, he gives and takes care of this man that was left for dead. He loves this man and takes care of him.
The question we need to ask ourselves is: Do we really love God with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength? And do we love our neighbors as we love ourselves? Lord, help me to do this today!