Who Is My Neighbor?

“‘Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into thehands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said, ‘Go and do likewise.'” – Luke 10:36-37

What does it mean to be a neighbor? When asked about the greatest commandment, we know that Jesus responded, “Love the Lord your God…and love your neighbor as yourself,” (Matthew 22:37-39). But who is my neighbor and what does it mean to love our neighbor and who is our neighbor?

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus explains how we love our neighbor. First, we see that our neighbor are those who need our help. Neighborly love is not limited to apple pie and sharing sugar. To love our neighbor is to see a need and lend a hand, just as the Samaritan does. Second, we see that loving our neighbor is costly. It costs the Samaritan two denarii to care for his neighbor. But even more important, the Samaritan had to be willing to give up his pride to help the man in need.

Who is your neighbor and how are you loving your neighbor? Neighborly love is not always easy, and it may cost more than we imagine. Our neighbors may not look like us, think like us, vote like us, talk like us, or worship like us. But theSamaritan does not poll the man in need or try to change his mind. He saw theman and “was moved to pity.” This is what it means to love our neighbor, and this is what Jesus commands us to do.

As always, I hope you have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship online beginning Sunday at 8:45 AM and on campus at 9:30 and 11:00 AM!