Who is your neighbor?
Have you ever been asked that question before? Have you ever thought about that question? Alternatively, have you ever thought about the answer?
Normally, we think of our neighbors as the people who live next door to us. They are the people who live down the street from us. They are even the people who live in our neighborhood or subdivision of our city or town. Having any other thinking on the subject is considered unusual or out of the norm.
However, when a lawyer asked Jesus this question…“And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29)
What do you think His response was to this question? It was not a normal or quick answer either.
Jesus replied, “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. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ (Luke 10:30-35)
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” (Luke 10:36)
Finally, the lawyer got it! He replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37)
What can we learn from this parable?
Our neighbor is not necessarily the one who we think it may be. He or she is not the one that we either are physically close to in relationship or distance at any given time. It may not even be convenient for us. We may be in a different location. We may even be in a different city, state, or country.
However, wherever our neighbor is…that is where the Lord wants us. He desires for us to go where He wants us to go, be where He wants us to be, and do what He wants us to do for all of our neighbors.
It should not matter to us the cost, distance, or anything else involved…only the obedience to our Lord. When we are listening to Him and obeying Him, He will provide for our every need. (Matthew 6:25-33) He will make a way when there seems to be no way in this natural world. (Isaiah 43:19)
Afterall, He instructs us to ‘Love the Lord our God with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our strength and with all our minds; and, Love our neighbors as ourselves.’ (Luke 10:27)
When we do this, then we will really live. (Luke 10:28)
Copyright 2011 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.