“WHO IS YOUR NEIGHBOR?”

“‘WHICH OF THESE THREE DO YOU THINK PROVED TO BE A NEIGHBOR TO THE MAN WHO FELL INTO THE ROBBERS’ HANDS?’ AND HE SAID, ‘THE ONE WHO SHOWED MERCY TOWARD TOWARD HIM.’ THEN JESUS SAID TO HIM, ‘GO AND DO THE SAME.'” LUKE 10: 36-37 NIV

READ: LUKE 10:25-37

DO YOU KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS? WE USUALLY KNOW THOSE WHO LIVE DIRECTLY NEXT DOOR, BUT HOW ABOUT TWO DOORS AWAY? WHAT ABOUT THREE OR FOUR DOORS FROM YOU OR THE FAMILY LIVING AROUND THE CORNER?

WITH THE INVENTION OF AIR CONDITIONING DECADES AGO, WE FOUND IT WAS MORE COMFORTABLE TO STAY INSIDE THAN OUT. THIS LED TO LESS AND LESS SOCIALIZING WITH OUR NEIGHBORS. IN DAYS PAST, WE NOT ONLY KNEW WHO OUR NEIGHBORS WERE, WE KNEW ABOUT THEIR LIVES AND FAMILIES. WE KNEW WHERE THEY WORKED, WENT TO CHURCH, THE NAMES OF THEIR CHILDREN AND MORE.

JESUS TOLD THE STORY OF WHO OUR NEIGHBORS ARE. HE EXPLAINED THE SIMPLICITY OF LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE. HE STARTED WITH TEACHING US TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS AS OURSELVES. JESUS’ PARABLE TOLD US OF A MAN ROBBED, BEATEN AND LEFT TO DIE ON THE ROAD. BOTH A PRIEST AND A LEVITE PASSED HIM WITHOUT OFFERING HELP.

THEN, A SAMARITAN CAME BY AND HELPED THE BEATEN MAN. THE SAMARITAN (WHOSE PEOPLE WERE LOOKED DOWN UPON BY THE JEWS) BANDAGED HIS WOUNDS, PLACE THIS INJURED MAN ON HIS DONKEY AND TOOK HIM TO AN INN. BUT, THE STORY DOES NOT STOP THERE. THE SAMARITAN EVEN PAID FOR THE ROOM FOR THE MAN AND OFFERED TO PAY THE INNKEEPER ADDITIONAL FUNDS ON HIS RETURN.

FROM JESUS’ PARABLE, WE GET THE PHRASE ‘A GOOD SAMARITAN’. ASK YOURSELF: “AM I A GOOD SAMARITAN?” DO YOU PASS BY AND IGNORE THOSE WHO NEEDS HELP? DO YOU CLAIM TO BE TOO BUSY OR DO YOU NOT WANT TO GET INVOLVED? DO YOU MAKE EXCUSES AND SAY SOMEONE ELSE CAN BE A BETTER HELP THAN YOU?

WE CAN ALL BE BETTER NEIGHBORS. OUR NEIGHBORS ARE NOT JUST THOSE WHO LIVE CLOSE. OUR NEIGHBORS ARE OUR CO-WORKERS, OUR KIDS’ TEACHERS AND COACHES, THE CASHIER AT THE GROCERY, THE FELLOW CHANGING A FLAT TIRE ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD OR THE UNEMPLOYED SINGLE MOM STRUGGLING TO PROVIDE FOR HER CHILDREN. OUR NEIGHBORS ARE ANYONE AND EVERYONE.

REACH OUT AND TAKE CARE OF THE NEXT ‘NEIGHBOR’ YOU SEE.

TODAY’S PRAYER: “MY FATHER IN HEAVEN, THANK YOU FOR ALL THE TIMES YOU ALLOWED ME TO BE THE NEIGHBOR WHO NEEDED HELP AND FOR PROVIDING THE GOOD SAMARITAN TO HELP ME. GIVE ME INSIGHT TO RECOGNIZE OTHERS WHO NEED MY HELP AND THE ABUNDANT ABILITY TO PROVIDE THE HELP THEY NEED. AMEN.”