Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Luke 10:25-37: Who Is My Neighbor

"So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Interesting that the original question was "who is my neighbor?", and the story concludes with the one who shows mercy not the afflicted one as being shown to be responding as a neighbor.
The Lord then admonishes the man who posed the original question to “go and do likewise”..
So did the Lord not answer this man's question, or would His point be that one who shows mercy to me is my neighbor. So go and be merciful to those who need mercy shown to them. Be a neighbor yourself.

Matthew 5:
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 7:12 "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The Jews to whom the Lord was speaking would have understood the implications of the Samaritan, i.e. their enemy being the neighbor. The samaritan is a saint, not the priest nor the levite.
So the command to the saints is love the unlovable since that is what God does. Display the perfection of God's love in the body of Christ.

Romans 5:
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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