There was a man who was an expert in the law that wanted to test Jesus. He asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law?” The man answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-29)
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took two denarii and gave the to the inn keeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Which of these three do think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hand of the robbers?” The expert of the law replied,”The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:30-36)
Back in 2007 my family and I were living in the Philippines. One weekend we went to some meetings up in the mountains. On the way home, it was pouring down rain, and dark outside. The streets were not lit. There, as we came around a bend, was a woman lying in a large puddle of water. We swerved to miss her. As we passed I said we must go back and help her. My husband and friend went to help as I stayed in the car with our kids. She wasn’t in her right mind. We don’t know fully what had happened to her but my husband prayed over her. They got a tricycle to take her somewhere safe. This was the closest experience I have ever encountered that reminded me of this story Jesus told.
What about you? How have you been a neighbor to someone else in need? How have you been able to come along and minster to the hurting and broken? Take some time to journal your experience and pray that God would open up more opportunities to truly Love Your Neighbor!