TO CHEW ON: "...so he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'” Luke 10:29
One day when Jesus was teaching in the province of Judea Mr. Scripture Expert came to Him with a question. He looked proud of himself as he asked, “What do I do to get eternal life?”
“What’s written in the law (Bible)?” Jesus asked.
“Love the Lord with all your heart ...and love your neighbor as yourself,” Mr. Expert replied.
“Do this and you’ll get that life,” Jesus told him.
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus answered that question by telling a story (today’s “Read”). In it bandits robbed and beat up a Jewish man. As he lay unconscious beside the road a priest came along. He saw the beat up traveler and crossed to the other side of the road. A Levite did the same thing. Then along came a Samaritan.
Samaritans were people the Jews hated and avoided. Samaritans hated and avoided the Jews too. But this Samaritan stopped. He saw what bad shape the man was in and he took care of his wounds.
"The Good Samaritan" by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890In town the Samaritan checked the traveler into an inn and paid the innkeeper to look after him.
Then Jesus asked Mr. Expert, “Who was a neighbor to the man?”
“The one who had mercy on him,” he replied.
Jesus finished, “You love your neighbor in the same way.”
Why do you think the good Samaritan was called a neighbor to the robbed traveler
a] because he lived next door to the man?
b] because he knew the man?
c] because he was the same race as the man?
d] because he saw the man was in need and helped him?
I’d say it’s d]. And if you think of it, that definition of “neighbor” means we may have many more neighbors than we thought! Who is your neighbor? In what way can you help him or her?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to recognize my neighbor and to be willing to help whenever I can. Amen.
SUPERSIZE IT: Being Neighborly
How could you be a neighbor (help out someone who is in need) when:
- Your next-door neighbor is ill and can’t walk her dog
- Your mom is late getting dinner, everyone is hungry and the baby is crying.
- Your friend is still sick after already missing three days of school.
- You see some of your classmates being mean to a little kid on the playground.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.