Living in the Abundance of Christ, Making a Home

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:3-5

I was reading “the Parable of the Good Samaritan” last night (which you can find in Luke 10:25-37), and before Jesus shares this parable the question is posed, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The answer is: “…┬áLove 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.” Luke 10:27

How many time do we pass up the opportunity to help someone else. I’m not talking just about giving money to some group or organization (which is good and necessary), but being the one that actually lends a hand, an ear, a moment. So often we go through this life, working, striving, getting, that we don’t stop to look around and see other people. A lonely neighbor, a frazzled mom, a shut-in, the list goes on. You may not find someone that’s been beaten and in a ditch, but there are people all around you that need your help or encouragement. Someone that only you see (and by “see” I mean know, think about, are reminded of). People don’t always have great needs like being homeless, or without food, or without money. Many people have great needs like loneliness, needing to hear a kind word, or a listening ear. Some people just need to know that someone actually cares about them. Whether their need is great or small, God has placed you in a position to see them and if you can see them, then they are your neighbor.

The parable of the Good Samaritan closes with this:

“‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’
The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’
Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.'” Luke 10:36-37

So what does this include? Sometimes it just means going for a visit and talking, bringing someone a meal, sending a card to let them know you’re thinking of them, calling them to ask how they’re doing, lending a hand to help, etc. Other times there are more serious and weighty things we are called to help our “neighbors” with (like in the example of the Good Samaritan) and God gives grace for that too.

“The believer considers that Jesus loved him, and gave his life for him, when an enemy and a rebel; and having shown him mercy, he bids him go and do likewise. It is the duty of us all, in our places, and according to our ability, to succour (assist,support), help, and relieve all that are in distress and necessity.”

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Luke 10:25-37, page 955 (parenthesis mine)

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