In the tenth chapter of Luke, Jesus was asked by an expert in the law, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied by asking him, “What is written in the Law?”
The expert answered: “Love 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.’ “
Jesus affirmed his answer and told him to go “Do this and you will live.”
But this expert had one more question wanting to make things very clear: “And who is my neighbor???”
What followed was one of Jesus’ very well known answers to the man's question: The Parable of the Good Samaritan. In this story a man is beaten and abandoned half dead at the side of the road. Three men walked by him but only one of them took pity on this man. He bandaged his wounds and made sure he was going to be cared for until he was well. At the end Jesus didn’t answer the question asked by the expert. He had one of his own: Which of the three men was a neighbor to the man on the side of the road?
The expert wanted to know “who-is-the-neighbor” and found that the one who shows mercy “is-the-neighbor.”
Jesus was telling the expert to NOT WORRY about “who-is-the-neighbor” but rather go out and “be-the-neighbor.”
There is a great message in this for us.
Let’s BE THE NEIGHBOR who shows mercy and kindness to those in need.