Who Is My Neighbor?

Read Luke 10:25-37

"Who is my neighbor?"  That is the question the man in the story asks Jesus.  In fact, the story says the man wanted to justify himself, and so he asked the question hoping to discover the answer he wanted from Jesus.

We are not so different, it seems, than the man in the story when it comes to being a neighbor.  Parents teach their children from the earliest age to be careful when we choose our friends.  You will be judged by the company you keep, so be careful not to fall in with the wrong crowd or you might get in trouble.

However, here Jesus teaches that being a neighbor is not about who we choose, but instead who God sends to cross our path.  The neighbor in this story is one in need, and the one we might pass by without even seeing if we aren't careful.  The neighbor in this story is the one we are obligated to help, even when we are in a hurry and are on the way to more important things.

Notice the reason Jesus tells the story of the neighbor.  The greatest command is "to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength and all our mind, and our neighbor as ourself."  When we do this, again says Jesus, then "You will live!"

Do you want to live?  Really live?  Do you want to live not running from one thing to the next, striving to meet the next deadline or satisfy the obligations of wealth, power and achievement?  Those things simply justify the self.

Jesus says you will really live when you love God and love your neighbor.  Who is my neighbor?


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