August 15, 2021
Who Is Your Neighbor | Luke 10:30-37
On August 15, 2021, Pastor Betty relayed the story of the good Samaritan and explained how it applies to our lives.
Read Luke 10:30-37
The parable of the good Samaritan, told by Jesus is very simple: A Jew went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, a very dangerous road to travel in those days, when he was attacked by robbers and stripped of his clothes and possessions. He was beaten and left half dead. A priest came down the road, saw the injured man, and deliberately passed by him. A Levite did the same. A Samaritan, a foreigner hated by the Jews, saw the injured man and had compassion on him. He cared for the helpless man and bound his wounds, then put him on his donkey. The Samaritan took him to an inn and made provision for his care. The next morning, the Samaritan paid the innkeeper for the man’s care and promised to repay the Jew on his way back for any other expenses he would incur. The Samaritan did not consider the man’s nationality or religion. He instantly helped a fellow man in need. Jesus then asked the expert in religious law which of the three men acted as a neighbour to the helpless man. The religious law expert answered “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus said to him “Go and do likewise”.
This parable teaches us that we must be careful not to harden our hearts. When we think of the word ‘sin’, we think of actions that contradict God’s will. We think in terms of actions, but we must remember that omissions are also a sin. In this parable, the priest and the Levite who refused to help the man in need, proved they cared nothing for him. Many of us look at the good Samaritan and focus on him and leave out the roles the priest and Levite play in this story.
We, too, are guilty of the sin of omission when we don’t want to get involved: when we see others as a nuisance to avoid. The Samaritan saw the Jew as a neighbour to love, and disregarded the fact that the Jews despised the Samaritans. Nevertheless, the good Samaritan risked his own life and spent his own money to help a Jew in need. We are to apply the parable of the good Samaritan to our own lives. Jesus says, we are to love our neighbour as ourselves. We are to take a chance and help other people. We are to show mercy no matter the risk or reward. We are to be willing to be prepared to take time out of our busy schedules to help those around us. Jesus wants us to realize that the key to God’s will is not just knowing it, but also putting it into practice. In other words, we are to be true neighbours, showing kindness and mercy to others like Jesus did to us. If we love our neighbour as ourselves, we will act kindly towards anyone, even our enemies.
Read Mark 12:30-31
God wants us to love Him with everything we have: in other words, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength. This is His greatest commandment. Through faith in Christ, anyone can be reconciled to God and fully welcomed into a relationship with Him.
The second commandment is to love our neighbour as ourselves. Proof of our love for God is revealed in how we love our neighbour. If we say we love God, we are to love our neighbour. Our neighbour is whomever we encounter in life. Anyone and everyone is our neighbour.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
The Lord reconciled the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and He has given us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, every believer is an ambassador for Christ. Just as political ambassadors live in a foreign land, representing the interests of their homeland and leader on a temporary diplomatic assignment, Christians too, are representing Jesus and His message to the world for a finite period of time. We can be ambassadors for Christ whenever we want and wherever we are. Are our lives Christ-like?
Read Isaiah 6:8
The Lord had a message to deliver to the nation of Judah. After Isaiah is cleansed of his sin, he says to God, “Here I am; send me!” The Lord wants willing volunteers. God created us with the ability to love one another. If we are still breathing, He can use us to help others. We are to extend compassion to everyone, even those people who disagree with us and are different from us. We are to take a chance and get involved in the lives of other people. Let’s show mercy no matter the risk or reward. Let’s be willing to sacrifice and be prepared to take time out of our busy schedule to help those around us.
Are we true ambassadors of Christ? Are we good neighbours?