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!”