The commonly held belief is that our neighbour is a person who lives in close proximity to us, and is likely not a member of our immediate family. We also think of a neighbour as someone who we have known for some time, and have a neighbourly relationship with. However, as in the verse quoted by the lawyer, Jesus introduced a completely new definition of one’s neighbour. To Jesus a neighbour is anyone you may come into contact with in your journey through life. It could be a member of your immediate family or a person who you have never met.
As Christians we are called to love even our enemies, and to respond in mercy to those in need, regardless of color, creed or social standing. When we see someone in need physically, emotionally or spiritually that person immediately becomes our neighbour, and God expects us to reach out in love, mercy and compassion. The challenge Christians are faced with is to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. Such love can only be the product of an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:27 ‘And he (a lawyer) answering said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’
Luke 10:28 ‘And Jesus said unto him, You have answered right; do this and you shall live.’
Luke 10:29 ‘But the lawyer wanted to justify himself, and said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?’
Romans 13:10 ‘Love does no harm to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Who do you consider to be your neighbour?
Do you believe you are your ‘neighbour’s’ keeper?
How can we ‘love our neighbour as ourselves?’
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