Monday, October 06, 2003

Love Your Neighbor

When Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” he responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind. And, love your neighbor as yourself.”
The quick question in return was, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus didn’t define a neighbor as the person who lives next door or down the street. Jesus didn’t say your neighbor is someone who you’ve befriended because of common backgrounds. Your neighbor, according to Jesus, is not someone who looks like you, spends money like you, is part of the same group as you, or goes to the same places as you.
Instead of defining “neighbor,” Jesus illustrated neighbor with a story. You are probably familiar with the story about a beaten man, a priest, a Levi, and a Samaritan recorded by Luke that Jesus told. The story was such a powerful illustration that even the Pharisee who was interested in self-justification couldn’t misunderstand. Your neighbor is anyone, anywhere who needs your help. Could Jesus tell a story about you to illustrate who a neighbor is? That’s Life at Work!

Richard May

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