Sunday, April 26, 2009

Who Is My Neighbor?

Jesus sums up God's law with the command,
"You shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself". (Luke 10:27, see also Romans 13:9 & Leviticus 19:18). If I give to others all day, as a follower of Christ, am I entitled to take the evenings and weekends off? Can I ignore my neighbor because I have already filled my "good deed quota" for the day? I don't believe so. A lawyer asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29). Jesus replies with the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-37). One of those who passes by is a Levitical priest. This tells me that no matter how holy or righteous one thinks they are, there is never a time to turn ones' back on a neighbor.
Jesus gave 3, primary instructions: Love God, love your neighbor, preach to all the world. Just before His ascension, He commissioned His followers to "go into all the world..." (Mark 16:15) or "nations..."(Matt 28:19-20) and preach the Gospel..." Perhaps some believe Jesus' instructions were multiple choice, but I believe they were all equally important.
I like the metaphor in this image. The open archway that God created into a garden of His creations where the light begins to shine. This is in stark contrast to those who are in the dark and strive to fence people out of their lives. How does your light shine in your every-day and every-moment walk towards the Kingdom? Do we ever get to retire?...Take some time off...? Not on this go-around. That comes later.

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