Love Your Neighbor
John 8:21-59Luke 10:1-11:13Luke 10:30-33, “Jesus said, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. ”
“Love your neighbor as yourself” was part of the Old Testament Law. An expert in the Law who was “testing” Jesus knew this intellectually, but definitely not spiritually. In fact, he tried to trick Jesus by asking, “Who is my neighbor?” But the man also knew full well that God didn’t limit his “neighbors” to those who lived on the same street. So Jesus launched into a convicting story that surely hit home for the lawyer – and it should resonate in our lives as well.A badly beaten man lay in the street half dead. Two men passed by and refused to help. Sadly, these weren’t ordinary men; they were scholars of the Law and supposedly men of God. One was a priest and the other a Levite who served in the Jerusalem Temple. What do they represent? The Law, which is merely a barometer for our brokenness. Just like the priest and the Levite, it cannot save us; only the Savior can!If we know Christ personally, it’s our duty to step in and help when our neighbors are in need. Yet, how often do we pass by “half-dead” people – those alive on the outside but dying on the inside – and say or do nothing? Before receiving God’s mercy and grace, we were that half-dead man. Our lives were once broken as we lay dying in sin. But Jesus did the work to save us! And now, we have a responsibility to introduce the hurting and lost to the Savior who specializes in bringing the dead to life.Or, maybe you are that injured and dying man. If so, then know this: Jesus wants to meet you right where you are. No matter how messy your life is, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done, God is madly in love with you. And right now, the Savior is extending His hand to you and offering a fresh start, a new life full of amazing love and unending joy!
Heavenly Father, Thank You for calling me to You, reaching out Your hand, and never letting me go. I seek to be more like Jesus every day. Therefore, speak into my heart and challenge me to be a good neighbor when opportunities arise for me to share my story with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.