How Can I Love My Neighbor
How Can I Love My Neighbor?
“We certainly live in days when the spirit of the Good Samaritan is needed, and the place it should be displayed is in the lives of Christians.” Charles Stanley
“Love talked about is easily ignored but love demonstrated is irresistible.” Cal Thomas
Understanding the Parable
- The Lawyer who Challenges (10:25-29)
“And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, 'Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' He said to him, 'What is written in the Law? How do you read it?' And he answered, 'You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.' And he said to him, 'You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.' But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'" Luke 10:25-29
- Inquiring Attorney (25)
- Insightful Answer (26-29)
- The Jew who was Crushed (10:30)
“Jesus replied, 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.'” Luke 10:30
- Immoral Robbers
- Attitude #1 – What’s yours is mine. I’ll take it.
- The Religious who Condemns (10:31-32)
“Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.” Luke 10:31-32
- Indifferent Religious Leaders
- Attitude #2 – What’s mine is mine. I’ll keep it.
- The Samaritan who Cares (10:30-35)
“But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’” Luke 10:30-35
- Incredible Samaritan
- Divine Love – He had compassion on him.
- Practical Love – He bandaged his wounds.
- Uncomfortable Love – He took him to the inn.
- Unselfish Love – He paid for his care.
- Attitude #3 – What’s mine is yours. I’ll share
- The Savior who Commissions (10:36-37)
“'Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?' He said, 'The one who showed him mercy.' And Jesus said to him, 'You go, and do likewise.'” Luke 10:36-37
- Ingenious Analysis (36 – 37a)
- Immediate Action (37b)
Applying the Parable
Learn to be Neighborly
- We are not to ask who our neighbor is. We are to be a neighbor.
- A neighbor does not ask “How far do I have to go?” A neighbor asks, “What can I do?”
- My neighbor is anyone with a legitimate need for which God has given me the resources to meet that need.
- Serving my neighbors means not asking first who they are and what is their relationship to me.
- Neighborly love shows that we love God.
- Neighborly love transcends boundaries of race, religion, and social status.
- Neighborly love sets aside personal schedules to serve others.
- Neighborly love is a sacrifice of self with nothing expected in return.
- Be considerate. See the needs and problems of neighbors.
- Be convenient. Be willing to be inconvenienced for neighbors.
- Be compassionate. Feel the need of neighbors and act on it.
- Be Christlike. Sacrifice our time and resources to help our neighbor.
Jesus Is the Good Samaritan
Jesus Christ is the good neighbor and His example is the one to imitate. He saw a world of sinners robbed of their potential, stripped of spiritual ideals, wounded by sins, and unable to rise by themselves from their beaten state. He came down to where the sinners are and gave mankind a corresponding act of mercy, seen in type in the good Samaritan. Through His death and resurrection, He covers our nakedness, binds up our wounds, and heals us. He puts us in the safety of His church and provides for our physical and spiritual needs.
Making It Personal:
Do you look upon neighbors as an inconvenience or an opportunity to serve?
When you see neighbors who need help, what prompts you to act? What keeps you from helping? At that moment, what seems more important than meeting the neighbor’s need?
As we look at how God wants us to be a “Modern-Day Good Samaritan” neighbor, what is the biggest struggle for you?