Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Last week’s “Fan the Flame” Friday sparked a lot of interesting comments.

The word was “neighbor.”

I asked, “Who is your neighbor?"
And, “What can you do to reach out to them – to show them God’s love?”

Let me tell you, my thoughts were radically enhanced and expanded by the many ideas that everyone put forth.

So, I’ve decided to spend the next two days sharing some of my thoughts on the very profound words of Jesus found in Luke 10:27.

A little background – Jesus is responding to an expert in religious law, who begins the dialogue by saying, “Teacher, what should I do to inherit
eternal life?” (verse 25)

Jesus responds with the greatest commandment of all – “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.”

And then He adds the second commandment.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The man, wanting to justify his actions, asks Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

This is where Jesus uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to explain the concept.

Most of us are very familiar with this parable – almost to the degree that we don’t ponder its full meaning. We know that the Samaritans and the Jews were hated enemies of each other. So we understand, at least on some level, what it took for a Samaritan to help a needy Jewish man.

Most of us do well enough when called to help those in need.

It is a high calling, and I think incumbent upon us, to help the needy. We easily recognize the needs of the poor, the afflicted, the sick, the elderly, widows, orphans, and the like.

But what of the others?

What if that Jewish man was sitting in his Ferrari, out of gas, and he just needed someone to walk with him to the gas station?

Would that engender sympathy? Would we see the NEED?

This comment from Friday was particularly enlightening for me:

“But it also makes me think that my neighbor MIGHT or might NOT be destitute or otherwise the "least of these." My neighbor is as much the guy who "has it all together" as much as he is the starving or homeless…I'm just expanding to include even those who do not need our physical or financial help but are our neighbor nonetheless.

 The difficult ones in our path. 
The lonely ones.
 The deluded and deceived.
 The condescending ones.
 The fakes.
 The scared ones... etc.”

Yes, these are our neighbors, too.

We all know people who are our “needy neighbors” – even though their needs are well-hidden.

We must love them, too…it’s what Jesus would do…it’s what He calls us to do, what He commands us to do.

To look beneath the façade, and attend to the inner needs, the ones that only He can heal.

Who’s your neighbor?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. Hi Sharon,

    This places your earlier post in a perspective that I had not considered. My thoughts focused on proximity but my neighbor transcends proximity into the area of building relationships with those God places in my path. The story of the Good Samaratian is an example of how God gives us opportunities to demonstrate His love to others.

    I pray not only that I will be one of many who demonstrate God's love but that I look for the opportunities which God provides.

    Blessings and peace.


  2. Well, since I'm the chatterbox who said that, you know how I feel. I typed yet more but deleted to leave cyberspace to others. LOL

    It moves my heart when I think that Jesus considered those very pharisees whom he knew would be the hands which brought about the plan (and therefore the pain...) to be HIS NEIGHBORS.

    BTW...Have I told you lately that I love your blog?

  3. basically our neighbor is anyone we run into, know, see along the way, etc. very good thoughts about who that neighbor is and how we can interact with them :)


  4. Thanks, everyone - (Yes, Debbie - your insights really launched this thinking for me - appreciate it)

    May we find new ways to encounter "neighbors" and, with God's help, to meet them "in their need" - whether that need is obvious, or whether it is hidden.

    Yes, Jesus was the ULTIMATE example of showing love for a "neighbor" - it boggles my mind, too, that He was able to forgive those responsible for His death. Let us continue to pray for His Spirit to move our hearts to reach out in love to others.

    p.s. Debbie - GIANT hugs OOOO for your very sweet compliment. (OK, I'll throw a few "snaps" in there, too!)


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)